Contemporary Humanism: An Introduction


Contemporary humanism is explained as a view that typically combines:

1. an emphasis on the role of science and reason

2. the acceptance of atheism

3. The view that this is very probably the only life we have. There is no heaven or hell awaiting us

4. a commitment to the existence and importance of moral value

5. emphasis on our individual moral autonomy and responsibility

6. a commitment to political secularism

7. belief that we can enjoy significant, meaningful lives even if there is no God, and whether or not we happen to be religious

All seven views will be unpacked and religious and other critiques of them will be examined. In particular, we will explore the limits of science and reason and whether science can threaten religious belief, the possibility of leading meaningful lives in the absence of religion, political secularism and the separation of Church and State, how best to raise moral citizens (within a religious framework vs. within a secular framework), and the work of campaigning humanist groups such as Humanists UK and the American Humanist Association.

Programme details

Registration (in-person attendees only)

What is Humanism?


Humanism, Political Secularism and Ending Religious Privilege

Lunch break

Atheism vs. Theism and The Meaning of Life


Raising Moral Citizens – a Humanist Approach

Course disperses


Description Costs
Tuition - in-person attendance (includes tea/coffee) £85.00
Tuition - virtual attendance £75.00
Baguette £6.10
Hot lunch (three courses) £16.50


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit or are a full-time student in the UK you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Stephen Law


Stephen Law is the Director of the CertHE and Director of Studies Philosophy. Stephen has written many books, including several popular philosophy titles such as The Philosophy Gym (Headline, 2003), Companion Guide to Philosophy (Dorling Kindersley, 2007) and Greatest Philosophers (Quercus, 2008). He is also the Editor of THINK, the journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.


Accommodation is not included in the price, but if you wish to stay with us the night before the course, then please contact our Residential Centre.

Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email for details of availability and discounted prices.

IT requirements

For those joining us online

We will be using Zoom for the livestreaming of this course. If you’re attending online, you’ll be able to see and hear the speakers, and to submit questions via the Zoom interface. Joining instructions will be sent out prior to the start date. We recommend that you join the session at least 10-15 minutes prior to the start time – just as you might arrive a bit early at our lecture theatre for an in-person event.

Please note that this course will not be recorded.