CSUN Lecture to Provide Insight on Being an Atheist in America

Secular studies scholar Phil Zuckerman

Secular studies scholar Phil Zuckerman

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution preserves Americans’ right to practice – or not practice — the religion of their choice. Yet, politicians and community leaders regularly invoke “God” as they go about their business.

Secular studies scholar Phil Zuckerman will explore what it is like to be an atheist or an agnostic in the United States, where religion plays such a dominant role, as part of California State University, Northridge’s Richard W. Smith Lecture Series in Cultural Studies on Wednesday, Nov. 4.

The lecture, hosted by CSUN’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. in the Whitsett Room Sierra Hall 451, on the west side of the campus located at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.

“The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is excited to offer the prestigious 2015 Richard Smith Lecture featuring Phil Zuckerman’s presentation on the perspectives of nonreligious Americans, addressing questions such as, ‘How one can live a moral life without religion?’” said administrative fellow and Department of Psychology professor Sheila Grant.

Zuckerman is a professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif. He is the author of several books, including “Living the Secular Life,” “Faith No More” and “Society Without God.” He also has edited several books, including “Atheism and Secularity” and “The Social Theory of W.E.B. Du Bois.” He writes a regular blog for Psychology Today titled “The Secular Life,” and he is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. In 2011, Zuckerman founded the first secular studies department in the nation at Pitzer College.

His lecture will provide a personal, as well as societal, perspective on what it is like to live in the United States as an atheist or agnostic. He will discuss how the general public, and certain segments of society, view atheists and agnostics.

The lecture is free and open to the public. However, seating is limited. For more information about the event or to reserve a seat, call (818) 677-7169. A reception and book signing will immediately follow the lecture.

While the lecture is free, parking on the CSUN campus is $6. Parking permits are available at the information booth located on Prairie Street east of Darby Avenue. Communication services — including sign-language interpreters, note takers, real-time captionists or assistive-listening devices — are available for this event. Requests for such services must be submitted to the above phone number at least five days in advance of the lecture.