Professor Callum Brown - 'Secularisation and civilisation: can history show if society is good without god?'

Published: 26 February 2014

13 March 2014

Historians have long spoken about “civilisation” as something rooted in a religious morality. Many of them have feared its decline with the growth of atheism. In this lecture, Callum Brown explores the nature of this argument, and places it in the context of a western society in which, in many places already, atheism and no religionism are major or even dominant life stances.

What does being without religion mean for “civilisation”? Humanists claim that people are “good without god”. Can the historian test this argument? Can it be that secularisation may be shown to be a beneficial development for humankind?

Professor Callum Brown's inaugural lecture

First published: 26 February 2014