Humanism is not a religion. It is a non-religious, ethical worldview, concerned with some of the same concepts as religions, but generally derived from secular ideas and considerations that have affected and influenced the lives of people, particularly since the Enlightenment. Humanism is a worldwide phenomenon although it is most often associated with the post-Christian trends of the 20th century in Europe and the developed nations. It has arguably somewhere in the region of 150 million active adherents which is about 2% of the world’s population.
The resources contained in the list of subjects below are a basic introduction to the facts and traditions of humanism. They are a portal or window into the world of humanism and by following the websites and bibliographies, an enquirer may discover more and more about this worldview.
The six units are based on the QCA non-statutory framework for Religious Education and the Areas of Enquiry. They provide not only a comprehensive guide to the facts and traditions of humanism, but also address the issues that humanism encounters as it engages with the 21st century.
The section was written by Marilyn Mason.
Marilyn Mason taught English for twenty years before being appointed Education Officer of the British Humanist Association from 1998 to 2006. She has written and spoken widely on humanist perspectives and is a member of her local SACRE and the SHAP Working Party on World Religions in Education.