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(820 words)

1. Definition and Typology

In antiquity, Gk. atheos described those who questioned the ruling religion and its gods. Thus not only the materialist Epicurus (341–270 b.c.) but also the philosophical believer Socrates (d. 399 b.c.) could be accused of atheism. Similarly Jews and Christians often appeared to be atheists to religious contemporaries.

In the modern sense of godlessness or a general denial of God, the term “atheism” first occurs in European tho…

Cite this page
Lochman, Jan Milič, “Atheism”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 26 January 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_A676>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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