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University professor begins study of atheists in Kamloops

Dr. Tina Block is a Social Historian of Religion at Thompson Rivers University.
May 20, 2016 - 6:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - A Thompson Rivers University professor is sitting down one-on-one with atheists to figure out how their decisions back in the 1960s have affected their lives today.

Social Historian of Religion Dr. Tina Block is starting a new study funded by the federal government, which will take a look at people who grew up in the 1960s to 1980s and see what kind of impact religion, or lack thereof, has played on their lives today.

"There’s lots of change in terms of religion and other things during the 1960s in Canada and elsewhere. There was sort of that rise in anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian kind of movement that certainly affects religion affects the church," Block says. "There’s the rise of the youth movement with all these alternative kinds of religion.”

That time frame, Block says, caused a lot of people to drift away from not only organized religion, but belief in general. She became very interested in how things changed in those times, and decided to put an ad in the local paper for people born in the 1960's or earlier, who became atheist or agnostic between 1950 and 1980.

"The broader question I'm interested in is secularization in post-war Canada or the decline of religion in post-war Canada, why that happened and what it meant to ordinary people," Block says.

The response she got was overwhelming.

"I’ve had an incredible response to this ad... It’s probably the Kamloops community, too, where everyone is so nice and involved," Block says.

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