Identity Complex

The number of people who have "no religion" is rising in the West – but what does this mean?

The number of people who have “no religion” is rising in the West – but what does this mean?

While statistics suggest that religion is in decline across most of the West, being irreligious is perhaps more complex than it seems.

In the UK, for example, only 25 per cent of people who claim to have “no religion” are atheists or agnostics – but even within this group there is a mix of spirituality and beliefs.

“Plurality and diversity define who we are,” Elizabeth Oldfield, Director of Theos, said at a recent public lecture in Sydney. “Many people would like to believe, and belong, but they don’t know how.”

In this episode, Elizabeth takes us on a tour of the religious landscape in the UK and Europe, and how the West’s religious identity is more complex than we think.

Elizabeth Oldfield is the Director of Theos, a leading religion and society think tank in the UK. To find out more about Theos, go to:

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This episode was first broadcast on 8 September 2016.