None of the Above

Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada

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Joel Thiessen, Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme
Secular Studies
  • New York: 
    New York University Press
    , April
     272 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Shakir Stephen forthcoming.


Compares secular attitudes characterizing “religious nones” in the United States and Canada

Almost a quarter of American and Canadian adults are nonreligious, while teens and young adults are even less likely to identify religiously. None of the Above explores the growing phenomenon of “religious nones” in North America. Who are the religious nones? Why, and where, is this population growing?

While there has been increased attention on secularism in both Europe and the United States, little work to date has focused on Canada. Joel Thiessen and Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme turn to survey and interview data to explore how a nonreligious identity impacts a variety of aspects of daily life in the US and Canada in sometimes similar and sometimes different ways, offering insights to illuminate societal and political trends. With numbers of nonreligious people even higher in Canada than in the US, some believe that secular currents to the north foreshadow what will happen in the US.

None of the Above asserts that a growing divide between religious and nonreligious populations could engender a greater distance in moral and political values and behaviors. At once provocative and insightful, this book tackles questions of coexistence, religious tolerance, and spirituality, as American and Canadian society accelerate toward a more secular future.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Joel Thiessen is professor of sociology at Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is the author of The Meaning of Sunday: The Practice of Belief in a Secular Age and co-author of The Millennial Mosaic: How Pluralism and Choice are Shaping Canadian Youth and the Future of Canada.

Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.



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