Interview an Atheist at Church Day by Kile Jones


Kile Jones, atheistAs some of you may know, I run a project called “Interview an Atheist at Church Day.”  This project aims at bettering understanding and furthering dialogue between atheists and Church-going religious persons.  So far we have had over a dozen interviews take place, and we have more in the making.  If you are a pastor interested in interviewing an atheist during service, or an atheist willing to be interviewed, please contact us here.

Our most popular interview so far is with Neil Carter (atheist) at a church in Mississippi.  You can read up on it here and watch it below.  At Feminism and Religion, I have made it my task to highlight some strong atheist women, and discuss some of the ways in which they can work together with religious women (sometimes this can cause a little friction).  Gretta Vosper, a pastor in Canada, is just such a woman.  She was interviewed as an atheist IN HER OWN CHURCH!  If you are not familiar with her work, I highly recommend it.  Another strong atheist woman who has participated in this project is Sarah Kaiser.  She works with the Center for Inquiry promoting LGBTQ rights.

Sarah Kaiser at Interview an Atheist at Church Day

Sarah Kaiser at Interview an Atheist at Church Day

So, if you are interested, please let me know.  And help us spread the word in order to get people with different views of the world working together for the betterment of society.

Kile Jones holds a Bachelors of Theology (B.Th.) from Faith Seminary, a Masters of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) and a Masters of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) from Boston University, and is a current Ph.D. in Religion student at Claremont Lincoln University.  He also holds a Certificate in Science and Religion from the Boston Theological Institute. He is the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Claremont Journal of Religion (www.claremontjournal.com). His interests include religion and science, atheism, secularism, and philosophy of religion.  He also reviews books for Reviews in Religion and Theology (RRT) and is a Contributing Scholar for State of Formation (http://www.stateofformation.org/author/kile-jones), an academic blog for emerging religious and ethical leaders.



Categories: Activism, Belief, Christianity, civil rights, Community, Ethics, Feminism, Interreligious dialogue

Tags: , , ,

4 replies

  1. Kile, I notice that your dialogue is focused on churches. I don’t go to church, so I would not interview an atheist in church. I wonder which understanding of God atheists as a group are referring to (if atheists are a group)? The omnipotent God, the process God, all patriarchal religions, all fundamentalist religions, all forms of religion, all forms of spirituality? There is a wider range of options for thinking about God, religion, and spirituality than many atheists are aware of, some may just be rejecting a particular form of religion or a particular understanding of God. In this regard genuine dialogue with between feminists in religion and atheists would not only educate “us” to “them” but might also open “them” to the “varieties of religious experience.”

    Like

  2. Hi Kile, Thank you for your post. May I ask you to please speak more about the purpose and goals of Interviewing an Atheist? Do you hope that ultimately the Christian church-goers will accept their non-believing neighbors? Or are you arming these church-goers with a means to convert Atheists? Do you see your work as furthering the dialogue between Christians and all other non-Christian religious practitioners? Do you believe that your work will lead to more respect for the “other”? I appreciate your time to respond. Warmly, Karen

    Like

  3. I don’t think I’d consider myself an atheist, but I don’t believe in male gods or churches. I think organized religion destroys women’s freedom, and is a complete waste of time for women. And all of my atheist friends would not be caught in churches, and have little to no patience with any discussion of religion. They exist primarily in the scientific and secular world, and the radical lesbians in our group would never talk to men. So it won’t really represent most women who are atheists, because they are not available in these contexts.

    Like

  4. Carol: There truly exists a grand amount of diversity amongst churches and pastors. The “kind of God” atheists usually focus on is the prevalent traditional God of the Abrahamic traditions. This project, however, is open to a wide variety of churches and pastors.

    Karen: The main goal is to humanize atheists and build friendships between atheists and church-goers. It is a humble goal, but enough for me.

    Turtle Woman: I know plenty of people like the ones you describe. I am not trying to set out some normative framework for how atheists and church-goers ought to behave. I am perfectly fine with people who simply do not care about church or getting atheists to work together with various religious persons. To each their own. Best!

    Like

Please familiarize yourself with our Comment Policy before posting.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: