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Humanists UK announces online event on ‘Humanism and the Age of Reason’

Humanists UK last night announced its first ever fully online public event, The Awakening: Humanism and the Age of Reason, a discussion between Charles Freeman, historian and author of The Awakening, and journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed.

The Awakening: Humanism and the Age of Reason
27 November, 19:30 (UK time)

With geography no barrier to attendance, hundreds of Humanists UK members and supporters have already bought tickets for the event overnight – including buyers from across Europe, the United States, and Japan – making it one of Humanists UK’s fastest-selling events to date.

In recent years, a succession of authors have tried to mount a case for the Christian heritage of the West. Sometimes they argue that Christianity is the fount of all that is good in this world, or for the supremacy of Christian values over all others today. But these partial accounts of history, starting just 2,000 years ago, may miss the real story of human thought and achievement until now.

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In The Awakening, Charles Freeman starts earlier – much earlier – in the history of the West, and charts how the refashioning of this history has shaped the world we live in and our understanding of our values. In this account of history, no religion or social movement can take credit for all of human achievement. Instead, the story presents as one of continuous learning, experimentation, and discovery, carried aloft through the ages, and spreading like never before with the development of new technologies, from the Middle Ages until now.

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson said, ‘Humanist thought and enlightenment values can be traced throughout history and have had a profound impact on society. Too often however, the humanist roots of transformative new ideas have been overlooked. We’re excited to hear Charles’ talk and about the opportunity to shine a spotlight on how rational and empathetic approaches to life have always shaped our world.’


The Awakening: Humanism and the Age of Reason will take place on Zoom on Friday 27 November, at 19:30 (UK time). Tickets are on sale for just £5.

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