College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

4. Abolitionism, Political Religion, and Secularism

Fourth lecture of Professor Jeffrey Stout's Gifford Lecture series.

Event Details

Date: Monday 8 May 2017, 5.30 - 6.30pm

The lecture may be followed by questions. Latest finishing time is 7pm.

Venue: Business School Auditorium, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS

Lecture abstract

If the Enlightenment had actually separated religion from politics, subsequent struggles over slavery would have had less to do with religion than they did. It was not until the early 1850s that a movement called ‘secularism’ emerged. Under the influence of Comte, some of its first defenders proposed a ‘religion of humanity’ to perform the public functions long performed by Christianity. Other secularists agreed that Christianity should be removed from politics, but did not expect a substitute for it to be agreed upon, and proposed either privatizing or eliminating religion.

Lecture video

Related links

Click here for more information on the fifth lecture of the series.

Book your tickets here.

For lecture summaries and to take part in the discussion visit the Gifford Lectures Blog.