Letter: Making sense of Northern Ireland's changing attitudes towards religion

A letter from Dr Matthew Gault:
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In recent years, Northern Irish attitudes towards religion have changed a lot, with the recent census showing a large growth in religious 'nones'.

However, such statistical data tells us little about why this change is happening, and nor does it tell us much about the nuance and variety that exists among nonreligious people in Northern Ireland.

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We are interested in understanding this change by talking to and learning from Northern Irish people who no longer think of themselves as belonging to a religion and/or no longer believe (or indeed never believed) in religious doctrine.

We would therefore like to talk to people from a Protestant, Catholic, or mixed background who fit one (or more) of the following descriptions:

• You no longer believe in God (or never did)

• You are not really sure whether there is a God

• You don’t like religion

• You don’t particularly care about religion

• You no longer think of yourself as belonging to a religious tradition

Interviews will be approximately one hour long and can be done online or in person.

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Only audio will be recorded and the interview will be fully anonymised (i.e. your name will not be recorded).

As a token of our gratitude, you will be compensated for your time with a £20 Amazon Voucher.

The research has full ethical clearance from Brunel University London and the lead researcher is Hugh Turpin.

If you are interested in being interviewed, please email Matthew, our research assistant, at [email protected].

If you have any other questions, please contact Dr Turpin at [email protected].

Dr Matthew Gault, Co Fermanagh