Humanism and the Future of Scotland: An evening discussion at the University of Glasgow

Published on: Author: Callum Brown 1 Comment

        with Christopher Brookmyre, Iain Macwhirter and Ian Scott         7.00 – 9.00pm Wednesday 12th November 2014 Western Infirmary Lecture Theatre (WILT), University Place (off University Avenue at the Wolfson Medical Building) Humanism is playing an increasing role in the ethical agenda of modern Scotland. Humanist weddings, recognised by… Continue reading

Anders Breivik and the Culture of Islamophobia

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      I have just been reading an excellent  study of the Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik. In this, a social anthropologist, Sindre Bangstad, argues that the scary thing about this man’s murder of 77 people on 22 July 2011 was not the capacity for a single human being to turn hatred of a… Continue reading

Can you believe it? Prof Jane Mair on The state of legal definition of religion and belief

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      Glasgow Humanist Studies Hub Research Seminars 2014-15   These research seminars bring together prominent academics in a variety of disciplines and stakeholders from the humanist, secularist, church and religious studies sectors, and from central and local government, public agencies and others. They focus on practical, conceptual, legal or theoretical issues facing the… Continue reading

Problems for the non-believer? Defining religion and non-religion

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    Various legal definitions of belief have emerged recently from parliaments and at least one law court in the UK. Each causes problems, especially for many of those with no religious belief. These definitions have been undertaken in good faith (a surprise use of the term, perhaps). The wish is to extend and better… Continue reading

Why do Humanists join Humanist organisations?

Published on: Author: Callum Brown 1 Comment

      What attracts people to become members of humanist organisations? I have interviewed 80 humanists and atheists in Scotland, England, France, Estonia, Canada and the United States. Not all I interviewed were members of humanist organisations; some were members of atheist and secularist organisations only, not an organisation with ‘humanist’ in the title,… Continue reading

Christian Country – yes or no? Ten seconds to make up your mind

Published on: Author: Callum Brown 1 Comment

      A lot of air, and sometimes a bit of light, have been shone on the issue that David Cameron triggered two weeks’ ago. Demands for definitive statements on whether UK (or a part of it, usually England) is a “Christian country” have been rather insistent from media callers. Statistics are being bandied… Continue reading

Christian country? Or does Britain just talk about it a lot?

Published on: Author: Callum Brown 2 Comments

      David Cameron seems to be taking a bit of a surge towards Christianity. Several years ago, he reported his Christian faith as being a “bit like the reception for Magic FM in the Chilterns: it sort of comes and goes”. In his recent article in the Anglican-aligned Church Times, he still says:… Continue reading

Humanist Workshop 1 – Seeking a ‘vicarless religion’: What do humanists want from humanist organisations?

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In Britain there must be in the order of 30,000 people belonging to humanist and secular ethical organisations. In Scotland, it is in the region of 8,000 people. What do they want from the organisations they join? Dr. Matthew Engelke, of the Department of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, sought to answer this… Continue reading

Selling Humanism

Published on: Author: Callum Brown 1 Comment

          I have recently joined a small group developing teaching materials on Humanism for Religious and Moral Education (RME) teachers in Scottish schools. I had my first meeting with the group of fellow Humanists from the Humanist Society of Scotland (HSS) last Sunday as we discussed how to go about this.… Continue reading