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Thank God I'm an Atheist: Deconversion Narratives on the Internet

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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abstract
Deconversion narratives - autobiographical accounts of how one became an atheist - now make up a substantial portion of atheist discourse on the internet. By analyzing the discourse employed on Richard Dawkins' Converts' Corner and exchristian.net, this thesis examines how several recurrent metaphors and literary devices serve to describe the atheist subject-position as one which is discovered rather than fashioned. The theories of Michel Foucault and P. Steven Sangren are used to demonstrate that many of the most common rhetorical themes found in deconversion narratives imply that atheism is a subject-position governed by abstract laws of truth and intellectual honesty rather than individual agency, which in turn serves to imply that atheism is a subject-position immune to accusations that it is discursively-constructed and potentially ideological.
subject
Atheism
Deconversion
contributor
Chalfant, Eric (author)
Ramachandran, Tanisha (committee chair)
Neal, Lynn (committee member)
Whitaker, Jarrod (committee member)
date
2011-07-14T20:35:57Z (accessioned)
2011-07-14T20:35:57Z (available)
2011 (issued)
degree
Religion (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/33473 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Thank God I'm an Atheist: Deconversion Narratives on the Internet
type
Thesis

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