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Humanism: a Christian heresy

Humanism: a Christian heresy

Tom Holland will speak about our common (mis)conceptions of humanism and the need for a robust and nuanced sense of the human person

Tom Holland is the best–selling author of many books including Rubicon: The Triumph and the Tragedy of the Roman Republic, winner of the Hessell–Tiltman Prize for History, Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom, and Dominion, which explores how Christianity made the modern world. He is co–presenter of Europe’s most downloaded history podcast, The Rest is History, and has written and presented several TV documentaries, for the BBC and Channel 4, on subjects ranging from ISIS to dinosaurs.

Tom’s lecture will be on the relationship between Christianity and humanism. In 2002, the World Humanist Congress affirmed “the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others.” Yet this – despite humanists’ stated ambition to provide “an alternative to dogmatic religion” – was nothing if not itself a statement of belief. From what, then, does the assumption that atheism and liberalism go together derive? The well–spring of humanist values lies not in reason, not in evidence–based thinking, but in history. What are the implications – for humanists, for Christians, and for Western society as a whole – of humanism’s status as a Christian heresy?

Theos is the UK’s leading religion and society think tank. We exist to tell a better story about Christianity in particular and faith in general, both in the sense of more accurate and honest but also more appealing and attractive. We believe that religious faith is a gift and not a threat, and properly understood has the potential to inform and enrich our societies.

We are delighted again to partner with CCLA for this lecture. CCLA is the UK’s leading fund manager for charities, faith and public sector organisations with a long history of managing assets for Christian organisations; and, this year, it will be possible for individuals to invest in their newly launched Better World fund. CCLA also provide the Secretariat for the Church Investors Group, that helps Christian investors world–wide develop and implement investment policies based on their faith.

Practical information about the event: The lecture will be held on Wednesday 23rd November at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL. Doors will open at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start, and the lecture will be followed by a drinks and canapés reception. Tickets are free but you must reserve your place here.

The venue is accessible with the main hall and drinks reception all on the ground floor. The lecture will not be livestreamed but will be filmed and available to watch following the event. Tom Holland’s books will be available to purchase at the event. Directions to Conway Hall and access information is available here


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