The Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network (NSRN) is very pleased to announce the NSRN Annual Lecture for 2012:
NSRN Annual Lecture 2012
In Spite of Christianity: Humanism and its Others in Contemporary Britain
By Matthew Engelke
What do we talk about when we talk about religion? What do we recognize as essential and specific to any given faith, and why? In this lecture, I address these questions by drawing on fieldwork among humanists in Britain, paying particular attention to humanismâ€™s relation to Christianity. In one way or another, humanists often position themselves in relation to Christianity. In a basic way, this has to do with humanistsâ€™ commitment to secularismâ€”the differentiation of church and state. In more complex ways, though, it also has to do with an effort to move â€œbeyondâ€ Christianityâ€”to encourage a world in which reason takes the place of revelationâ€”while often, at the same time, recognizing whatâ€™s worth saving and even fostering from the legacies of faith. All these various relations and perspectives suggest how we should understand social life in contemporary Britain as what it is in spite of Christianityâ€”and not.
Matthew Engelke is a Reader in the Department of Anthropology and co-ordinates the Schoolâ€™s recently launched Programme for the Study of Religion and Non-Religion. His research career has focused on the connections between religion and culture (amongst other things) but he has recently completed pioneering ethnographic fieldwork working with British humanists. In this lecture, Matthew will reflect upon the various and complex dynamics between contemporary British humanism and Christian cultures, past and present.
The NSRN Annual Lecture for 2012 will be held at the Conway Hall in London on Wednesday 28 November at 6.30pm (doors from 6pm; the lecture will be followed by a drinks reception). This event is free to attend, but places are limited. To register, please email Lois Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details of the event can be found at the NSRN Online.