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Life After God

Religion & Spirituality Podcasts

Writer and speaker, Ryan Bell, of A Year Without God, shares insightful commentary on religion and irreligion in North America and engaging interviews with believers, heretics and the uncertain.

Writer and speaker, Ryan Bell, of A Year Without God, shares insightful commentary on religion and irreligion in North America and engaging interviews with believers, heretics and the uncertain.


United States


Writer and speaker, Ryan Bell, of A Year Without God, shares insightful commentary on religion and irreligion in North America and engaging interviews with believers, heretics and the uncertain.




(626) 817-2285


095 - Secular American Voices, feat. Juhem Navarro-Rivera

In this episode Ryan shares a few thoughts about the victory of Joe Biden in the presidential election, followed by an interview with Juhem Navarro-Rivera of Socioanalítica Research about the political views and values of secular Americans as compared to all Americans. These results are revealed in a new report by Socioanalítica Research entitled, Secular Voices Survey. LINKS Download the Secular Voices Survey | Socioanalítica Research website...


094 - Secular Day of the Dead, feat. Victoria de la Torre & Margaret Downey

On this episode I speak with Victoria de la Torre and Margaret Downey about Secular Day of the Dead, a secularized celebration of an ancient pre-Columbian Mesoamerican celebration that goes back some 3,000 years. This year the Freethought Society is hosting International Secular Day of the Dead on Zoom, due to the pandemic. All are invited to join in this celebration of the lives of our dead loved ones and pets. Learn more about Secular Day of the Dead and register to attend at...


093 - Finding Realness, Meaning, and Belonging in Our Digital Lives, feat. Chris Stedman

On this episode I speak with Chris Stedman. Chris is a writer, speaker, and community organizer living in Minneapolis. His new book, out tomorrow from Broadleaf Books, is called "IRL: Finding Realness, Meaning, and Belonging in Our Digital Lives." The IRL in the title refers to the internet shorthand for “in real life,” in contrast to our online lives. But Chris thinks this designation is a mistake. Much of the time, Chris says, we don’t think of our time on the internet as “real” and...


092 - The Humanism of Albert Camus, feat. Jamie Lombardi

On this episode I speak with Jamie Lombardi about the humanistic philosophy of Albert Camus against the backdrop of our contemporary political situation: pandemic, wildfires on the west coast, police violence against black people, and the impending election. LINKS Reading "The Plague" During a Plague, with Jamie Lombardi, Greg Epstein, and Ryan Bell "The Best Books by Albert Camus," recommended by Jamie Lombardi (interview by Nigel...


091 - White Too Long, feat. Robert P. Jones

On this episode I speak with Robert P. Jones, founder and CEO of Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) about his new bombshell of a book, "White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity." Jones speaks about his growing up in the Southern Baptist Church in Texas and Mississippi, his growing awareness of the crisis festering within his faith community, and how he has come to understand the role that history and theology play in Christianity's support for white...


090 - We Are Not the Heroes, ft. Greg Epstein

On this episode I speak to Greg Epstein, humanist chaplain at Harvard University and MIT. In this wide ranging conversation, Greg and I talk about his upbringing and some of the events that led to where he is today at two of the most prestigious universities in the United States, working to build meaningful community among the non-religious and ask difficult questions about the ethics of technology. We recorded this conversation in the immediate aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and...


089 - The Politics of Humanism with Justin Clark

In this episode I speak with Justin Clark about the relationship between secularism, humanism, and socialism. We even talk a little about Marx and the current political climate in the US.


088 - Race in a Godless World with Nathan Alexander

In this episode I speak with historian Dr. Nathan Alexander about his new book, Race in a Godless World: Atheism, Race, and Civilization, 1850-1914. We talk about what Christianity and secularism have each done to engender and stem racist ideas and policies. We also discuss the peculiar resurgence of scientific racism in recent years, particularly among self-described atheists, skeptics, and freethinkers. Please buy and read Dr. Alexander's book, Race in a Godless World. More info here:...


087 - Ex-Files: A Conversation with Pat Green

Today on the Ex-Files I speak with Pat Green. Pat is a former Christian pastor and recovering evangelical. Pat’s claim to fame is that he is a the father of Dave. Pat has been a successful business person, a taxi cab driver, and is currently a writer and photographer, living in Chicago. Pat was originally on the Life After God podcast back in 2015 when the I first started the show and I’m honored to have him back. This episode comes with a content notification. In the conversation that...


086 - Ex-Files: A Conversation with Tim Hellmann

On this episode of the podcast I speak with Tim Hellmann. Tim is a former Christian who grew up fundamentalist in Bible Methodist and Pilgrim Holiness congregations. He tells me that he’s not very comfortable with labels but mostly closely identifies with agnostic. He has a bachelors degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Truman State University, and, most importantly, Tim is the father of two sons. Tim is an honest, open-hearted, compassionate person whose commitment to authenticity...


085 - Black Freethinkers with Christopher Cameron

On this episode of the podcast I speak with University of North Carolina history professor, Christopher Cameron, about his new book, Black Freethinkers: A History of African American Secularism. Buy the book: Follow Chris on Twitter: Visit Chris's website: Dr. Christopher Cameron is an Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at...


084 - Rethinking Religious Trauma with Brian Peck

On this episode I speak with my friend Brian Peck about the importance of taking a trauma-informed approach to treating what he calls adverse religious experiences. Rather than merely pathologizing religion, Brian suggests that we recognize the reality of religious abuse and then focus on treating trauma using the best evidence-based practice. "Religious abuse is what happened to you," he says. "Trauma is your body's response to the abuse." This is a conversation I've been wanting to have...


083 - Ex-Files: A conversation with Kristi Kiger Upman

In this episode I speak with Kristi Kiger Upman. For ten years Kristi worked for the Southeast White House, a ministry associated with The Family. She tells me about how she became a Christian, her experience working in evangelical Christian ministry, and how she ultimately left her faith. Kristi was at the Southeast White House at the same time Jeff Sharlet was at Ivanwald. In episode 81 I speak with Jeff Sharlet so be sure to check that out as well. Please support the podcast. Visit...


082 - This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom with Martin Hägglund

On this episode of the podcast I speak with Yale professor of comparative literature and humanities, Martin Hägglund, about his new book, "This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom." Unlike any book I've ever read before, Martin weaves together a secular understanding of life that is rooted in our necessarily fragile, temporal existence, with the logical outcome of this understanding of secular life in our social and political lives. In, "This Life," Hägglund argues that the social...


081 - The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy with Jeff Sharlet

This week on the podcast I speak with Jeff Sharlet, the New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power and C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. Today, Netflix released a five-part documentary series entitled, The Family, based upon Sharlet's stellar investigative reporting. Watch the Netflix series: Buy Jeff Sharlet's books The Family -...


080 - Inciting Incident: A Conversation with Marissa and Bethany

This week on the podcast I speak with Marissa Alexa McCool and Bethany Futrell, the co-hosts of Inciting Incident podcast. Marissa is a podcaster, author, performer, speaker, and an LGBT rights and atheist activist. She is a trans woman, married, partnered, and a parent. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her family. Marissa graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 with degrees in English, Cinema and Media Studies, and Anthropology, while also studying theatre, Shakespeare,...


078 - Post-Religious Mental Health: A Conversation with Suandria Hall

Welcome to a special edition of the Life After God podcast. I'm excited to share conversations with you from a growing number of professionals who specialize in religious trauma, deconversion, and post-religious mental health. My goal with these conversations is to offer you a diverse range of perspectives, share practical insights you can use in your daily life, and introduce you to some amazing humans who are committed to helping others thrive after leaving religion. My name is Brian...


077 - Remembering George Tiller: A conversation with Gretchen Koch

In this bonus episode I speak Gretchen Koch on the occasion of the 10-year anniversary of the murder of George Tiller, the famous abortion doctor from Wichita, Kansas, who was shot and killed during the worship service at the Reformation Lutheran Church. Gretchen's parents were members of the same church and in attendance that day. Gretchen herself was visiting her parents but was at home and heard what happened later that day. Check out Gretchen's comic based on her parents' recollection...


076 - Humanism & Our Political Commitments with James Croft

In this episode I speak with James Croft, a leader at the Ethical Society of St. Louis where he has been for the past five years. James is a humanist educator, activist, and sought after speaker around the world. He earned an MA in Education from University of Cambridge and an Ed.D. from Harvard Graduate School of Education. In this conversation we talk about briefly about the origins of the Ethical Society, his experience at the Ethical Society of St. Louis, his experience of the murder of...


075 - Escaping from Jehovah's Witnesses with Lloyd Evans

On this episode I speak with Lloyd Evans. Lloyd is the founder and senior editor of - a website that promotes freethought among Jehovah's Witnesses. He is also author of "The Reluctant Apostate," a book that chronicles his experiences growing up as a JW and his journey to freedom from Watchtower indoctrination. His "John Cedars" YouTube channel, which has nearly 50,000 subscribers, hosts a range of videos aimed at dissecting the various teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses, as well...