Ian Toombs

Japan. UK. USA.

This research covers Shinto in Japan, the ‘godless’ Sunday Assembly and the Religious Society of Friends in Britain. Shinto is secular, yet has religious attributes. The Sunday Assembly is non-religious but tolerates theists.  ‘Friends’ accept non-theists at their meetings.

Jürgen Habermas [1] questions whether the separate worlds of the secular and the religious can live together and effectively communicate.

Attenders at some Christian gatherings, claim to be non-theist. What may enable them to amicably live together in the same community? What for the attender makes a gathering ‘secular’ or ‘religious’ raises questions about the nature of ‘religion.’

The issues about theist and non-theist living together, raised by ‘God, Words and Us’ amongst the Quaker community [2], has potential relevance to tolerance of difference amongst the wider Christian community.

[1]  ‘God, `Words and Us.’ Quaker Books. 2017.

[2]An Awareness of What is Missing’ ’Polity 2010. pp15 – 23.

Ian Toombs Woodbrooke Quaker Conference Centre


Post-secular Religion! ‘Outing and Othering.’ Secular Tolerance. Secular Humanism. Explorations into God. Augustine and desire for God. Non-theist cultural Christianity.

About Ian Toombs

My research examines theists and non-theists who share the same space. Why theists attend non-theist gatherings and non-theist religious gatherings is explored. The relevance of Christian culture in holding or attracting attenders is considered. This research builds on issues explored as part of an earlier MSc and a MA.