Book recommendations

 
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Richard Norman

Although humanism has much in common with science, Richard Norman shows that it is far from a denial of the more mysterious, fragile side of being human. He deals with big questions such as the environment, Darwinism and 'creation science', euthanasia and abortion, and then argues that it is ultimately through the human capacity for art, literature and the imagination that humanism is a powerful alternative to religious belief.

 
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Stephan Law

Law shows that humanism is a quite positive alternative to religion. The humanist is not simply one who denies the truth of religious belief, but one who believes we can enjoy meaningful, purposeful, and good lives without religion. And far from embracing moral nihilism, humanists are often deeply committed people, to be found at the forefront of many important ethical campaigns.

 
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Andrew Copson and Alice Roberts

In The Little Book of Humanism, Alice Roberts and Andrew Copson share over two thousand years of humanist wisdom through an uplifting collection of stories, quotes and meditations on how to live an ethical and fulfilling life, grounded in reason and humanity.

We recommend this to "complete beginners" who are new to the ideas of humanism. 

 
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A.C. Grayling

Drawing on 2500 years of contemplative non-religious writing on all that it means to be human, Grayling has created a secular bible. 'The Good Book' offers a thoughtful, non-religious alternative to the many people who do not follow one of the world's great religions.

 
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Julian Baggini

Atheism is often considered to be a negative, dark, and pessimistic belief which is characterised by a rejection of values and purpose and a fierce opposition to religion.


Atheism: A Very Short Introduction sets out to dispel the myths that surround atheism and show how a life without religious belief can be positive, meaningful, and moral. It also confronts the failure of officially atheist states in the Twentieth Century.


The book presents an intellectual case for atheism that rests as much upon positive arguments for its truth as on negative arguments against religion. 

The author is Julian Baggini, a Bristol-based philosopher and patron of Humanists UK.

 
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Andrew Copson

In this Very Short Introduction, Andrew Copson tells the story of secularism, taking in momentous episodes in world history, such as the great transition of Europe from religious orthodoxy to pluralism, the global struggle for human rights and democracy, and the origins of modernity.


He also considers the role of secularism when engaging with some of the most contentious political and legal issues of our time: 'blasphemy', 'apostasy', religious persecution, religious discrimination, religious schools, and freedom of belief and freedom of thought in a divided world.

 
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Alom Shaha

In a charming blend of memoir, philosophy, and science, Alom explores the questions about faith and the afterlife that we all ponder. Through a series of loose ‘lessons’, he tells his own compelling story, drawing on the theories of some of history’s greatest thinkers and interrogating the fallacies that have impeded humanity for centuries.


Alom recounts how his education and formative experiences led him to question how to live without being tied to what his parents, priests, or teachers told him to believe, and offers insights so that others may do the same.

 
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Michael Rosen and Annmarie Young

What does it mean to be a humanist? Is humanism a new idea? How do people live their lives without religious beliefs?


The first of its kind aimed at the new curriculum for upper primary and lower secondary school children, this book will examine how humanists respond to fundamental questions about morals and ethics, the origins of life, religion and the state.


It will look at how humanists mark the milestones of birth, marriage and death. How do people without belief in God live moral and fulfilled lives, with respect for humankind and the universe? A thought-provoking approach will encourage readers to think about the big questions for themselves.