I was trying to reply to your comment on a thread in the Atheist Biker's forum, but alas I couldn't reply to a single comment. So, I decided to post on your page instead. I live in Warner Robins and ride a 2010 HD Sportster Iron 883. I'm also looking for like-minded individuals to ride with.
Thanks, I just joined this site, and I think it is great. Being an athiest in Georgia is like Atlanta being the island in a sea of rednecks, only an island of one. So it has been nice to get on line and see the island is not so small.
We are a group that get together once a month, usually at Manuel's Tavern. We started just getting together and drinking and chatting but as we've grown, we're starting to be a little more formal, with discussion topics, news and event updates. We maintain a group here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=logo#/group.php?gid=16948307866 and our next meeting is December 13.
Atlanta and Emory is actually home to the Society of Biblical Literature, the primary academic society for Biblical Studies. There is a lot of theologizing done at the SBL, but a hell of a lot of good work, too.
I don't know off hand who is teaching Bible at Emory, I think it is all done at Chandler School of Theology, but I might be wrong. Is there a separate Religious Studies dept. in the main university? Each university has its own arrangements with denominational schools.
My own undergrad prof, Ehud Ben Zvi (an atheist of Jewish extraction), did his PhD at Emory and didn't have any troubles. I suspect most of the people are fairly liberal Christian if they are in biblical studies. I suspect if Hinduism, Confucianism et.al. are on the curriculum, you will find a lot of folks sympathetic to you.
I did my PhD at the U of Edinburgh in the Faculty of Divinity with a full scholarship. Oddly, the students in the Hebrew and Old Testament dept. were pretty much all heretics or atheists. Not so in the New Testament.
There is a big difference between Religious Studies and what is disguised as that in seminaries, etc. My own field is Hebrew Bible, and the vast majority of folks in it are relatively liberal Christians or Jews. More conservative ones hang on in the periphery, make some good contributions once in a while and get annoying at other times. I have had students walk out of my classes in disgust, however!
As far as R.S. as a whole, goes, most folks are pretty well secularized and agnostic or atheist.