Conway Hall Ethical Society presents:
*ONLINE* National Secular Society: Inventing Secularism – The Radical Life of George Jacob Holyoake – book launch with Ray Argyle
Thursday 22nd April @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm (London, UK) – 2pm Eastern Daylight Time !
** This is an ONLINE only event. Please register for an online ticket using the “Book Now” link **
* Conway Hall is a charity and we politely ask you to add a donation of at least £5 when registering. *
You may recall Ray Argyle from his articles here on humanistfreedoms.com (search for “Ray Argyle” using the search tool). If you’re as crazy for the history of humanism and secularism as we are, you’ve been anticipating the release of his biography of George Jacob Holyoake for months. Well the virtual book launch is upon us!
What follows is the press-release information shared with us when the book was in pre-launch phase. We’re still reading and expect to launch our review soon!
Secularism, the world’s most widely applied model for the separation of church and state, has freed peoples and their governments from control by religious authority. At a time when it is being challenged by evangelical Christianity and fundamentalist Islam, Inventing Secularism, the first modern biography of secularism’s founder, George Jacob Holyoake, is scheduled for the Spring 2021 list of McFarland & Co.
Ray Argyle, Canadian biographer of French president Charles de Gaulle and American ragtime composer Scott Joplin, writes that George Holyoake “changed the life experience of millions around the world by founding secularism on the idea that the duties of a life lived on earth should rank above preparation for an imagined life after death.”
Jailed for atheism and disowned by his family, Holyoake came out of an English prison at the age of 25 determined to bring an end to religion’s control over daily life. He became a radical editor and in 1851 invented the word secularism to represent a system of government free of religious domination. Inventing Secularism reveals details of Holyoake’s conflict-filled life in which he campaigned for public education, freedom of the press, women’s rights, universal suffrage, and the cooperative movement. He was hailed on his death in 1906 for having won “the freedoms we take for granted today.”
More than 160 secular and humanist organizations around the world today advocate principles set out by George Holyoake in his newspaper The Reasoner and in hundreds of lectures as well as books and pamphlets.
Argyle’s Inventing Secularism warns that a rise in religious extremism and populist authoritarianism has put secularism under siege in countries ranging from the United States to such once staunchly secular nations as Hungary, Poland, Turkey and India. He writes that Holyoake “looked beyond his own time, confident of a future of moral as well as material good, offering an infinite diversity of intellect with equality among humanity.”
Inventing Secularism, US$45.00, is available for pre-order at https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/inventing-secularism.
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, is located in Jefferson, North Carolina, and is one of the leading publishers of academic and scholarly nonfiction in the United States, offering about 6000 titles in print.
Sources, Citations and References
Featured Photo Courtesy of https://rayargyle.com/a-radical-life/
The views, opinions and analyses expressed in the articles on Humanist Freedoms are those of the contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publishers.