The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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(1,007 words)

1. Atheism (‘godlessness’), linguistically derived from the Greek átheos, is so named only since the sixteenth century. Atheism means the denial of the existence of God or of the gods, as well as of a life after death. It is a radical form of criticism of religion, and depends on contingent historical and societal conceptualizations of God. Thus, a timelessly valid definition that would specify anything beyond the negation of the exist…

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Nanko, Ulrich, “Atheism”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 03 June 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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