The principal aim of this project is to analyse the concept of atheism in different religious contexts, specifically in Ancient Greece. To achieve that, it is necessary to delimit the concept of atheism inside the background of unbelief. When we approximate to the diverse forms of atheism, we can see the huge variety of irreligious positions that depend on the way the religious context has been created. On the other hand, the relationship between religion and atheism is not similar in all historical contexts. Not always atheism expresses an antireligious position, neither today nor in antiquity. Also, in different religious context, people who denied God/divinity did not negate their spirituality or their religious practises.
This project is divided in three different parts. The first one is about the definition of unbelief and atheism as epistemological concepts. Unbelief is a wide category that allows us to create a field of study in which diverse irreligious positions can be studied. The concept of unbelief is usually utilized to classify people who deny religious beliefs or, simply, those do not believe in a religious dogma although they often form a cultural identity based on religious tradition. However, atheism is a specific philosophical position inside the category of unbelief that denies or doubts the existence of God or gods. There is a diverse typology of atheism (hard, soft, implicit, explicit, weak, strong, theoretical or practical atheism). Nevertheless, in this project we are going to focus in two divisions: positive/negative atheism and broad/narrow atheism. The second part of the project analyses different religious contexts in which atheism has been developed. On the one hand, the religions called “atheistic religions” as Jainism or Theravada Buddhism will be studied in the framework of narrow atheism. On the other hand, inside the context of Judaism and Islam, diverse philosophical atheistic position will be also analysed. Psalms 10 and 14, in the case of Judaism, and diverse authors as Ibn al-Rāwāndī or Al-Rāzī (s. IX) in Islamic thought. The last part introduces all these considerations in Ancient Greece. Different texts about irreligious positions among the Ancient Greek history, from the beginning of the philosophy with pre-Socratic authors to the end of the Classical period will be studied. Once the texts that criticize the idea of the gods or ritual practises have been classified, we can determine what type of atheism is developed in Ancient Greece.
Soneira Martínez, R. (2018), “Reflexiones de ateísmo e increencia en torno al fragmento del Sísifo (DK 88, B25)”, Ἰlu. Revista de Ciencias de las Religiones, accepted (forthcoming).
Soneira Martínez, R. (2018) “Límites históricos del Ateísmo: Increencia en la Grecia Antigua.”, Panta Rei. Revista Digital de Ciencia y Didáctica de la Historia, accepted (forthcoming).
Soneira Martínez, R. (2018) [Review of the book: Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World by T. Whitmarsh] Gerión. Revista de Historia Antigua, 36, accepted (forthcoming).
Soneira Martínez, R. (2017) Los Misterios de Eleusis y la polis de Atenas: organización y control ateniense en el culto eleusinio. [Trabajo fin de Máster- M.A. Dissertation] http://eprints.ucm.es/41492/