A nontheistic belief system based on a faith in democracy, rationality, and human autonomy. Originating properly in the twentieth century, secular humanism finds its roots in earlier anticlerical and anti-Christian movements and is closely akin to a number of radical religious positions espoused during and after the Enlightenment. Its institutional embodiment varies from country to country, but Unitarianism and Ethical Culture have been particularly important in its history. Secular humanism has an ambiguous relationship to religion. on the one hand, it asserts that religion, per se, is an outmoded antimodern way of relating human beings to the cosmos, but on the other hand, its totalistic world view makes it a functional equivalent of traditional religious views. This conflict over its religious status lies at the heart of recent controversies over secular humanism and makes it hard to categorize the position as either a religion or a philosophy.
Broadly, humanism can be categorized as a phenomenon of the modern era that has attracted the attention and interest primarily of intellectuals in the West. When considered solely as an intellectual world view, it encompasses the general scientific, philosophical, and religious perspectives of modern Western thinkers. In many respects, it is the ideology of modernity. As a religious point of view, some scholars have equated it with a generalized "religion of democracy," the American civil religion. However, this article treats humanism more narrowly, as a social movement tied to nineteenth-century freethought groups and to twentieth-century liberal religions. Depending on the specific emphases of individual humanists, they may call themselves religious, secular, naturalistic, ethical, or scientific.
In general, humanists reject theism and supernaturalism and emphasize humankind's responsibility for its own well-being. This humanism must not be confused with Renaissance humanism, literary "new humanism," or Christian humanism, all of which have some points in common with it but, by and large, stem from entirely different roots and hold quite different assumptions about the nature of human beings and the world.
The myriad of iconoclastic freethought movements can be classified according to the extent to which they emulate religion: on the one side, there is irreligious freethought (utilitarianism or materialism, for example) and on the other side, there is religious freethought (Comtean positivism or radical Unitarianism). The categories are not entirely distinct, however, and often great ambiguity exists between them; this is especially true when traditional religious markers, such as God, immortality, and cosmic purpose, disappear, and religion comes to connote a particular relationship to the world (often ritualistic or emotional). In some cases, religious freethinkers have explicitly sought to create an alternative religion, in other cases, the movement may attempt to replace religion but avoid the label. Because of humanism's comprehensive response to traditional religion, it has more in common with religious freethought. Probably the most distinctive characteristic of humanism is the holistic quality of its thought that seeks to encompass human knowledge and experience in a broad synthetic manner. In this way, it functions as a substitute for religion and not merely a negation of it. Humanism advances both a destructive critique of religion as well as a positive program to supplement it.
This article will discuss first the pre-twentieth-century history of humanistic movements in the West, then the birth of humanism proper in the twentieth century. Finally, it will examine the emergence of a "secular humanist" movement and an allied formation of rationalistic skeptics.
Humanistic Currents in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Humanists have traced their history as far back as ancient Greeceó"Man is the measure of all things," proclaimed Protagorasóbut the current movement finds its immediate intellectual origins in Enlightenment rationalism. In the eighteenth century, several political, ethical and religious currents coalesced into a bellicose anticlericalism. The resulting ideology emphasized the unity of man and advanced the cause of liberty. The ideology of libertyóespecially liberty of thoughtówas probably the Enlightenmentís main contribution to humanism and freethought. Many of the Enlightenment intellectuals espoused some form of deism and attacked the hypocrisy and irrationality of Christianity. Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was perhaps the most widely read of these deists as a result of his enormously popular book The Age of Reason. Christianity, the desists contended, merely placed shackles on the mind and was not consonant with what they termed "natural religion," a universal religion that could be deduced from the "book of nature" and did not contain the provincialism of Christianity. The deists emphatically affirmed the existence of a Creator-God even as they found contemporary religion muddled with ancient superstitions. They sought to discover a religion which conformed to the universal truths of science. It was this spirit of revolution (The abandonment of Christianity and the rationalistic reformulation of religion) that most explicitly links it to the humanist tradition. Religion purified of its mypocrisies, they contended, could serve the needs of humankind.
August Comteís (1798-1857) "religion of humanity" exemplifies one extreme of religious nontheism. The French philosopher August Comte advanced, as part of his progressive view of history, a suggestion for a new religion, one which eliminated all supernaturalism and which emphasized science and human achievement. His religion, modeled quite closely on Roman Catholic ritual and observances, replaced, for example, the traditional Catholic saints with important scientists. Comteanism found enthusiasts among French and British intellectuals who sought to reconstitute the state-church (catholicism in France and Anglicanism in England) along nontheistic lines. The movement was not popular, however, in the predominantly Protestant United States with its anti-Catholic bias.
In America, religious radicalism came to be expressed as a noncreedal free religion that attracted a variety of contradictory non-Christian viewpoints, ranging from Emersonian transcendentalism to scientific theism to ethical agnosticism. At the core of the free religious movement was radical Unitarianism, and perhaps because of this, American free religionists usually retained some form of supernaturalism or idealism, finding materialistic atheism too vulgar. One of the leaders of the Free Religious Association was Francis Ellingwood Abbot (1836-1903), a radical Unitarian minister who promoted what he called scientific theism, a late nineteenth-century theological view which saw God as immanent and postulated that science would provide knowledge of God. The most successful free religious group, Ethical Culture, arose out of Reform Judaism. Founded by Felix Adler (1851-1933) in New York City, it spread thought the United States and Europe. Ethical Culture was agnostic regarding questions about the existence of God, focusing its attention on social activismóAdlerís motto was "deed, not creed." Adler himself was a Kantian idealist and rejected scientific materialism. The early Ethical Culture movement followed Adler in this belief, though in later years it would abandon realism. Ethical Culture was a strongly community-centered religion and flourished in the larger cities. Ethical Culturists, like radical Unitarians, found most of their support among the politically liberal middle and upper classes.
Nearly all of the nineteenth-century freethought movements aligned themselves with important political and social issues. Many of them agitated for the separation of church and state. Freethinkers were often sympathetic to the plight of the working class, but not always; in fact, in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century, the labor issue was unpopular with freethinkers. Freethinkers generally supported the equality of women, and prominent leaders of the womanís movement were agnostics themselves and sympathetic to the agenda of radical religious reconstructionóthis is most especially true of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, principle editor of The Womanís Bible. Contraception, however, which was inextricably linked to obscenity and free love in the nineteenth century, presented a continual source of controversy among radical religionists. The moralism that pervaded respectable middle-class freethought kept these issues at the fringes of the movement. Overall, the freethinkers social and political positions varied widely, but they tended to embrace nontraditional social views: the attack on the church was as much an attack on hypocrisy and church sanctioned immorality as it was on specific theological dogmas.
freethoughtís dependence upon science caused it to change with new scientific developments. Enlightenment thought concerning science largely stemmed from the fundamental discoveries and proofs of Isaac Newton (1642-1727). Based in the logically rigorous disciplines of mathematics, astronomy, and physics, the model of science that Newton left to posterity was precise, empirical, and highly objective. The deistic ideal of natural religion, which arose out of the Enlightenment, reflected the optimism of a culture that believed all knowledge could be derived through Newtonian-like scientific investigation. Newtonianism brought with it a faith in a universal and rational order underlying the world, an order that could only be the result of a completely rational Creator. Thus, the religion of the deists was a reaction against the provincialism and arbitrariness of Christianity. The Enlightenment promoted a faith in rational thought and in natureís underlying perfection.
By the end of the nineteenth century, the scientific world had been transformed by the almost universal adoption of some form of evolutionism. The Newtonian world view no longer dominated, and in its place stood a dynamic universe that no longer looked to a separate Creator for its existence. Instead, if a Creater was postulated, it was an immanent being, part of the evolving universe itself. Human beings in this system might continue to remain a pinnacle of the universe, but this was not longer necessary, and more pessimistic views of the relationship between man and nature came into existence. The assertion of absolute human autonomy and an explicit attack on other-worldly belief systems marked a transition to twentieth-century freethought. Freethinkers had come to embrace a variety of views, including outright atheism, ethical agnosticism, and belief in an immanent God. Some parts of the Enlightenment heritage remained unaltered, however; the view of the common humanity of mankind did not disappear, nor did the belief in the ultimate efficacy of science to uncover universal truths.
Bring with it new conditions and new scientific and philosophic premises, the twentieth century saw th rise of humanism proper; developments in the United States proved to be of singular importance in the rise of this new religious point of view. Shortly after 1910, several American Unitarian ministersóall of whom had left more conservative denominations of their youthóbegan to preach what they called humanism, in effect, a liberal nontheistic ethical stance. In 1933, a small group of young minister with ties to the Meadville Unitarian seminary in Chicago published "A Humanist Manifesto," a document which outlined in fifteen tersely worded affirmation the basic thrust of humanism. The thirty-four signatories included many liberal minister (Unitarian, Ethical Culture, and Reform Jewish) and a number of well-known intellectual, including John Dewey (1859-1952). The statement was drafted by the philosopher Roy Wood Sellars (1880-1973), himself an active Unitarian.
The foundations of religious humanism came out of a newly reconstructed philosophical naturalism. Nontheistic naturalism had flourished in the previous century, promoted by such individuals as Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) and, later, Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), but it was a deterministic philosophy and tended to reduce human experience to biological, chemical, or physical phenomena. The new naturalism, promoted most avidly by philosophers at Columbia University, was still a materialistic philosophy, but it avoided the determinism and reductionism of its precursor. This made it possibly for these philosophersómost of whom had strong liberal religious connectionsóto integrate religion into their world-view without compromising the rigor of scientific expiricism. They reconciled religion and science by separating personal religious experience from public scientific knowledge. Where religion depended on factual knowledge claims, it had to yield to science in all instances. And where science provided no informationósuch as for the existence of God or immortalityóreligion must remain mute. Humankind in the scientific age had to learn to live without certainty. Humanists insisted on this last point, reiterating over and over again the need for people to internalize the methods of modern science, especially its tentativeness and its open-mindedness.
Between 1918 and about 1937, Unitarianism was critically split between those members who sought to expel the humanists and others who insisted on tolerance and inclusion. The reconcilers eventually won out, and humanism has remained a viable option for American Unitarians since then. During this same period, humanism was attacked by Protestant modernists, from various denominations, liberal whose theological positions were closest to humanism, because they believed humanism had gone too far. It was, they contended, an untenable religious position, overly rationalistic and therefore unsatisfying. Raher than a religion, humanism was merely unadorned moralism. Furthermore, humanismís optimistic assessment of mankindís abilities precluded a clear understanding of the tragic elements of human existence. Finally, many modernists found it to be distastefully arrogant.
But humanism was not just confined to a religious dialogue. During the late 1920s, a number of like-minded intellectuals wrote books espousing this humanist point of view. The young British biologist Julian Huxley (1887-1975), grandson of T.H. Huxley, published his personal expression of a humanistic faith, Religion Without Revelation. In America, social commentator Walter Lipmann (1889-1974) wrote Preface to Morals, a long portrait of an age transformed by "the acids of modernity." Similar views were presented in E.A. Burttís (1892-1989) Religion in an Age of Science, H.J. Randall, Sr. and Jr.ís (1871-1946 and 1899-1980) Religion and the Modern World, and John Deweyís A Common Faith. The motive driving much of this literature was the belief that the demise of traditional religion left a spiritual vacuum. Men and women were left aimless in the modern world and needed some way to integrate personal and cosmic elements of life, an honest way that harmonized with modern knowledge and social conditions. The striving for integration characterizes this humanist view.
Early British humanism differed from its American counterpart in its less ostesibly religious character. The main freethought groups in England after the turn of the century were the Rationalist Press Association (RPA), the National Secular Society (NSS), and the Ethical Culture Societies. The Ethical Culture groups, of course, expressed a distinctly religious form of freethought, retaining congregational and ritual aspects of traditional churches, holding weekly meetings, and performing social work. The religiosity of the Ethical Societies, however, was counterbalanced by the generally irreligious character of the RPA and NSS. THe Rationalist Press focused their efforts on publishing ventures to make inexpensive rationalist literature widely available. A number of well-known British intellectuals have been members of the RPA, including Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), Gilbert Murray (1866-1957), Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974), Julian Huxley, and Alfred J. Ayer (1910-1989). The rationalists held a more explicitly intellectual point of view from that of the Ethical groups and were not communal in nature.
The political views of perhaps the great majority of humanists in both Britain and the United State at this time were distinctly socialistic. Humanismís global vision and emphasis on human betterment made it quite congenial to Marxism and to the interests of labor. Humanism also exhibited a strong pacifist strain; World War I, many of the humanists thought, merely showed the folly of militarism.
Humanism became a truly international movement at mid-century. The American Humanist Association (AHA) was formed in 1940, and groups in other countries soon followed suit. Ethical Culturists slowly came to see themselves as essentially humanistic, and began to cooperate more and more with humanists on common causes. The British Humanist Association was founded in 1963 through the union of the Ethical Culture groups and the RPA. Earlier, in 1952, American and British humanists had met with like-minded groups in Western Europe, America, and India and formed the International Humanist and Ethical Union. In a number of European countries, the combination of a high percentage of unchurched citizens with a state-church tradition created conditions quite favorable to the spread of humanism. In the Netherland and Norway in particular, humanism flourished in an atmosphere of state-supported religious pluralism. There, humanism represented a alternative "lifestance" to traditional religions, and thus became eligible for government subsidies like other church groups. In nearly all of these countries, some people adopted humanism as a substitute religion which would provide counselors to perform rituals like weddings and funerals. Indian humanism is unusual in that it finds its origins in a grass-roots political movement based in a strong social reform tradition. The Indians de-emphasize the intellectualism that pervades most of the Western forms of humanism. In all of these countries, humanism reflects a very similar worldview. Democracy and science play key roles in defining the positive outlook of humanists, providing it with the fundamental assumptions upon which specific religious, social, and political issues are considered.
The Emergence of "Secular Humanism" and Skepticism
The notion of secular humanism arose by way of contrast with the earlier explicitly religious humanism espoused by the American Unitarians in the 1920s and 30s, and the name seems to be of American origin. The emergence of secular humanism signifies less a change in ideology than a change in name. Its use by some humanists has been an attempt to deny the earlier assertion that humanism is a religion. Religion, they argue, most properly refers to belief systems that contain unverifiable supernaturalistic assumptions. Ironically, however, the term secular humanism became popularized through its use by Christian fundamentalists who sought to emphasize the very point which secular humanists objected to: the religious nature of humanism. These fundamentalists often referred back to a 1961 Supreme Court decision, Torcaso v. Watkins, which eliminated all religious tests for public office. The decision included an important footnote, stating that "among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others."
Renascent Christian fundamentalism in the United States, which had previously flourished during the first part of the century, singled out "the religion of secular humanism" in their attack on the ills of modern society. Fundamentalists purported to expose a worldwide conspiracy of humanists who controlled political and media organization and were bent on eliminating morality and religious belief. They maintained that humanism, the worship of man, led to complete hedonism and anarchy. Although the fundamentalist attack on humanism took various forms, it was in the arena of public school education that the battle was most vociferously fought. In particular, fundamentalists objected to the teaching of sex education and the theory of evolution, both of which, they asserted, were part of the humanist religion and thus could not be taught in public schools without infringing on the Establishment clause of the First Amendment. The teaching of evolution, especially, became the focus of fundamentalist ire.
Several humanists had defended evolution against conservative Christianity in the early twentieth-century. Thus when the issue began to surface again in the 1960s, the geneticist H. J. Muller (1890-1967), ex-president of the AHA, drafted a tentative statement affirming the need to include evolution as part of the biology curriculum. His statement was eventually rewrote and published along with the names of many eminent biologists. The AHA soon began to cooperate with other anti-creationist groups. The strong humanist solidarity with the anti-creationists stems from the important place of evolution in the humanist worldview. Evolution furthers the humanist cause both by attacking the foundation for an entirely naturalistic worldview. It is for these same reasons that the fundamentalists have asserted that evolution is nothing but a religious doctrine dressed up as objective science.
The attack on secular humanism occasioned the formation of another, more aggressive, humanist group. This group, the Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism (CODESH), issued "A Secular Humanist Declaration" at its inception in 1980, proclaiming the nonreligious nature of secular humanism and once again affirming the values traditionally held by humanists. Its stridency, reminiscent of the rhetoric of earlier nineteenth-century freethinkers, was a reflection of the influence of the rationalist antireligious tradition. Nevertheless, apart from a more aggressive tone and more purely rationalist sensibility, the substance of secular humanism did not differ from the humanism espoused by the AHA. The Columbia-trained philosopher Paul Kurtz (b. 1925) spearheaded the new group and continues to publish two magazines and manage a humanist publishing house, Prometheus Books.
In addition to the rise of fundamentalism, a second event provided an impetus away from religious humanism. In the 1960s, some humanists came to sympathize strongly with Abraham Maslow and other humanistic psychologists who espoused views that seemed to open the way for a secular understanding of religion. Drawing on the pioneering work of William James and John Dewey, Maslowís work on peak experiences located the essence of religious feeling in personal psychological experiences. As Maslowís followers became ever more drawn into the counterculture scene of the late 1960s, the more rationalistic humanists reacted against what they saw as narcissism and subjectivism, qualities that appeared to reestablish some of the most insidious problems of traditional religion. Shortly thereafter, some humanists found B.F. Skinnerís (1904-1990) behaviorismócontentious for its deterministic view of human beanioróto be a potent counterpoint to humanistic psychology. From this perspective, secular humanism, thus, can be seen as a reactionary movement within humanism that sought to maintain the original spirit of Enlightenment rationalism and anticlerical freethinking.
One other recent humanistic movement has come to be directly involved in the promotion of science: the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). Though not explicitly a humanist enterprise, it fits quite naturally within the rathionistic wing of humanism. Following the general line of argument expressed in David Humeís essay, "Of Miracles," these skeptics demand extraordinary proof for extraordinary claims and have devoted themselves to the rigorous examination of paranormal and occult phenomena. They present themselves as open-minded skeptics willing to give a hearing to all claims of unusual phenomena, but their detractors argue that they are merely debunkers and apologists for orthodox science. One of the most common criticisms, in fact, is that they are not empirical at all, but rather prone to prejudge cases and rationalize away unusual phenomena. Because of the sensationalistic nature of many of the claims (UFOs, Bigfoot, ESP, and so forth), the skeptics tend to have a much higher visibility than other humanist groups. In recent years, they have begun to deal more broadly with the scientific method, human psychology, and tricksterism. Although they tend to avoid specifically religious questions such as creationism, they often relate belief in the paranormal to religious "overbeliefs." The proliferation of skeptical societies, magazines, and newsletters suggests that the skeptical branch of humanism will continue as a significant force in the humanist movement around the world.
In general, humanism is an antisupernaturalistic world-view that relies heavily on both the findings and the methods of science to understand humanistyís place in the world. Its ethical system is based on assumption about individual worth and the ability of human beings to better their own lives and those of the rest of humanity. Out of this ethical point of view, specific issues such as human rights, population growth, arms control, and international cooperation have achieved especial prominence. Humanists have also been strong advocates of sex education as well as the liberalization of euthanasia, abortion, and divorce laws, all issues, they claim, that give individuals greater freedom to control their own lives. An overall assessment of the ideological stance of late-twentieth-century humanism would probably categorize it as a form of liberal individualism, a significant change from its generally socialist leaningsof the 1930s. Yet, inasmuch as humanism is a worldview espoused by liberal intellectuals, it follows closely the values and political leanings of the intelligentsia, so the shift is not surprising.
Perhaps the most threatening critique of humanism recently, therefore, is postmodernism. Appearing first in the writings of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), a complete assault on humanism as a worldview has proliferatied among many so-called postmodern intellectuals. Heidegger equated humanism woth the arrogant notion that human beings both can attain rational knowledge of themselves and the world and can assert mastery over it, positions that he blamed for the current evils of modernity, the banal mass-cultures of liberalism and state socialism. In an attempt to regain an authentic relationship to the world, he opposed humnaism. French intellectuals, including Michel Foucault (1926-1984), Jacques Derrida (b. 1930), and others, developed and popularlized this critique of the foundations of knowledge and human autonomy. Humanists now find thelselves having to answer these postmodernists. Some humanists have tried to incorporate some of the insifhts of relativistic postmodernism in humanism, acception sharp limits on the power of reason and human autonomy. They tend to adopt a more or less pragmatic stance (harkening back to John Deweyís influential work) that divorces the idea of ultimate universal knowledge from the practical means of control. Other humanists, however, defend the efficacy and worth of science and rationality. Science, they argue, already includes a tentativeness and awareness of limitations that the postmodernists do not admit. On the whole, humanists are understandably wary of the postmodern turn, finding its anarchic approach to knowledge unsettling and dangerous, threatening the very positive advances made in the modern world.
The extent to which humanism extends beyond the specific organizations is a constant source of discussion among humanists and their opponents. Clearly, large aspects of the humanist worldview have been adopted by great numbers of people in the general population. The fact that the organizations and magazines are not able to engage many of these people directly suggests something abou the intellectual and elite nature of the movement. It does not have broad popular appeal. Only occasionally do specific movements such as skepticism capture broader attention. The crests and valleys of the humanist movement seem to be more closely tied to the religious mood of the populace at large than to any efforts by humanists themselves to attract new members. In some respects, the humanistís contention that many people in the culture are humanists without knowing it is quite true. These are people who adopt in whole or in part the humanist perspective, but do not, for whatever reason, align themselves with the seemingly radical viewpoint of humanism and the organizations that espouse it.
Humanists have hailed the work of many recent popular science writers and scietists, illustrating, once again, how closely they tie themselves to the scientific worldview. From the science fiction/science writer Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) and the astronomer Carl Sagan (b. 1934) to the behaviorist B.F. Skinner and the sociobiologist E.O. Wilson (b. 1929), numerous scientists have adopted a secular humanist worldview. In the words of these broad thinkers, science comes to the aid of humankind, helping to answerfundamental questions about its place in the world through providing nonreligious answers to age-old religious questions. In the same way that Newton and Darwin became figureheads of earlier freethinkers, so too do these contemporary scientists illustrate the power of human throught and empirical discovery and present a powerful reply to the traditional religious explanations of the world. As much as anything, the utility of science, its ability to provide human beings with both knowledge and control over the worldójust as supernatural religion claims to doódrives the humnaist imagination. By giving up supernatural sactions and knowledge, humanity is returned to its own resources for creation a libavle world. It is responsibly for all of its mistakes, but is also in control of its own future. This last point is what drives humanists in their efforts to make a coherent response to religion and justifies the name humanism.
A. General Works on Naturalism, Unbelief, and Irreligion
Baumer, Franklin L. Religion and the Rise of Skepticism. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1960.
Byrne, Peter. Natural Religion and the Nature of Religion: The Legacy of Deism. New York: Routledge, 1989.
Campbell, Colin. Toward a Sociology of Irreligion. New York: Macmillan, 1971.
Chadwick, Owen. The Secularization of the European Mind in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Campbridge University PRess, 1975.
Marty, Martin E. Varieties of Unbelief. New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, 1964.
Shea, William M. The Naturalists and the Supernatural: Studies in Horizon and an American Philosophy of Religion. [no location]: Mercer University Press, 1984.
Turner James. Without God, Without Creed: The Origins of Unbelief in America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.
White, Edward A. Science and Religion in American Thought: The Impact of Naturalism. Stanford: Standford University Press, 1952.
B. freethought and Allied Movements
Brown, Marshall G., and Gordon Stein. freethought in the United States: A Descriptive Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1978.
Budd, Susan. Varieties of Unbelief: Atheists and Agnostics in English Society, 1850-1960. London: Heineman, 1977.
Cashdollar, Charles D. The Transformation of Theology, 1830-1890: Positivisim and Protestant Thought in Britain and America. Princeton, NY: Princeton University Press, 1989.
Hornback, James Franklin. "The Philosophic Sources and Sanctions of the Founders of Ethical Culture." Ph.D. Diss., Columbia University, 1983.
Kirkley, Evelyn A. "The Religious Humanism of Elizabeth Cady Stanton: A Reading of The Womanís Bible." Paper read at the annual meeting of the American Society of Church History, University of Miami, Coral Gabels, Florida, April 1995.
Lyttle, Charles H. Freedom Moves West: A History of the Western Unitarian Conference, 1852-1952. Boston: Beacon Press, 1952.
MacKillop, I.D. The British Ethical Societies. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Pearsons, Stow. Free Religion: An American Faith. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1947.
Post, Albert. Popular freethought in America, 1825-1850. New York: Columbia University Press, 1943.
Radest, Howard B. Toward Common Ground: The Story of the Ethical Societies in the United States. New York: Frederick Unger, 1969.
Robinson, David. The Unitarians and the Universalists. Denominations in America Series, vol. 1. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985.
Warren, Sidney. American Freethought, 1860-1914. New York: Gordian Press, 1966.
Whyte, A. Gowans. The Story of the R.P.A., 1899-1949. London: Watts, 1949.
C. Twentieth-Century HumanismóAnalytical and Historical Works
Avery, Jon Henry. "An Analysis and Critique of Roy Wood Sellarsí Descriptive and Normative Theories of Religious Humanism." Ph.D. Diss., The Iliff School of Theology and the University of Dever (Colorado Seminary), 1989.
Darker, Lee Charles. "A Theology of Democratic Socialism for Religious Humanists." D. Min. Diss., Meadville/Lombard Theological School, 1978.
Campbell, Colin. "Humanism in Britain: The Formation of a Secular Value-oriented Movement." In A Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain, edited by David Martin. Vol. 2. London: SCM Press, 1969, 157-172.
Earles, Beverly Margaret. "The Faith Dimension of Humanism." Ph. D. Diss., Victoria University of Wellington, 1989.
Engel, J. Ronald. "American Religious Humanism (1916-1936) and Its Leading Ideas Functioning as Metaphors of Ultimate Reality and Meaning." Ultimate Reality and Meaning 8 (1985): 262-276.
Grean, Stanley. "Elements of Transcendence in Deweyís Naturalistic Humanism." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 52 (June 1984): 263-288.
International Humanist and Ethical Union. International Humanist: 40th Anniversary Issue, July 1992.
Krieger, Andrew Robert. Structural Ambiguity in a Social Movement Organization: A Case Study of the American Humanist Association. Ph. D. Diss., Georgetown Univeristy, 1983.
Kurtz, Paul. "Humanism." In The Encyclopedia of Unbelief, edited by Gordon Stein. Vol. 1. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1985, 328-333.
Kurtz, Paul. "The Two Humanisms in Conflict: Religious vs. Secular." Free Inquiry 11 (Fall 1991): 49-51.
Marty, Martin E. "Dear Republicans: A Letter on Humanisms." Christian Century (January 7-14, 1981): 13-17.
Meyer Donald H. "Secular Transcendence: The American Religious Humanists." American Quarterly 5 (Winter 1982): 524-542.
Olds, Mason. Religious Humanism in America: Dietrich, Reese and Potter. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1978.
Radest, Howard B. "Ethical Culture and Humanism: A Cautionary Tale." Religious Humanism 16 (Spring 1982): 59-70.
Radest, Howard B. The Devil and Secular Humanism: The Children of the Enlightenment. New York: Praeger, 1990.
Rockefeller, Steven C. John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1991.
Schuler, Michael Anthony. "Religious Humanism in Twentieth-Century American Thought." Ph. D. Diss., Florida State University, 1982.
Schulz, William F. "Making the Manifesto." Religious Humanism 17 (Spring 1983): 88-97, 102.
Schulz, William F. "Making the Manifesto: A History of Early Religious Humanism." D. Min. Diss., Meadville-Lombard Theological School, 1975.
Shea, William M. "Qualitative Wholes: Aesthetic and Religious Experience in the Work of John Dewey."Journal of Religion 60 (January) 1980, 32-50.
Shermer, Michael Brant. "Science Defended, Science Defined: The Louisiana Creationism Case." Science, Technology, & Human Values 16 (Autumn 1991): 517-539.
Snyder, Lawrence W. "The Humanist Manifesto as Confession: Humanism and the Quest for Universal Religion, 1920-1933." Paper read at the annual meeting of the American Society of Church History, University of Miami, Coral Gabels, Florida, April 1995.
Toumey, Christopher P. "Evolution and Secular Humanism." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 61 (1993): 275-301.
van Praag, J.P. Foundations of Humanism. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1982.
Wilson, Edwin H. "The New Humanist (1928-1936), Forerunner of The Humanist." The Humanist 35 (Jan/Feb 1975): 53-55.
Wilson, Edwin H. "The Origins of Modern Humanism." The Humanist 51 (Jan/Feb 1991): 9-11, 28.
D. The Skeptical MovementóHistorical, Analytical, and Critical Works
Collins, H.M. and T.J. Pinch. Frames of Meaning: The Social Construction of Extraordinary Science. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982.
Hansen, George P. "CSICOP and the Skeptics: An Overview." Journal of the American Society for Physical Research 86 (Jan. 1992): 19-63.
Hess, David J. Science in the New Age: The Paranormal, Its Defenders and Debunkers, and American Culture. Madison: University of Wisconsin PRess, 1993.
Hofstadter, Douglas R. "Metamagical Themas [On CSICOPís history and activities]." Scientific American 246 (Feb. 1982): 18, 20, 23, 24, 26.
Kurtz, Paul. The New Skepticism: Inquiry and Reliable Knowledge. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1992.
Pinch T.J. and H.M. Collins. "Private Science and Public Knowledge: The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal and its Use of the Literature." Social Studies of Science 14 (1984): 521-546.
Wilson, Robert Anton. The New Inquisition: Irrational Rationalism and the Citadel of Science. Scottsdale, AZ: New Falcon Publications, 1986.
E. Works Ciritical of Humanism and About Its Critics
Chambers, Claire. The SIECUS Circle: A Humanist Revoltion. Belmont, MA: Western Islands, 1977.
Ehrenfeld, David W. The Arrogance of Humanism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.
Ferry, Luc, and Alain renaut. French Philosophy of the Sixties: An Essay on Antihumanism. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1990.
LaHaye, Time. The Battle for the Mind. Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1980.
F. Primary Humanist Texts
"A Humanist Manifesto." The New Humanist 6 (May/June 1933): 1-5.
"A Secular Humanist Declaration." Free Inquiry 1 (Winter 1980/1981): 3-7.
Blackham H.J. Humanism. Hew York: International Publications Service, 1968. Reprinted, 1976.
Dewey, John. A Common Faith. New Haven: Yale University Prss, 1934.
Ericson, Edward L. The Humanist Way: An Introduction to Ethical Humanist Religion. New York: Continuum, 1988.
Flew, Anthony. Atheistic Humanism. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1993.
Goicoechea, DAvid, John Luik, and Tim Madigan, eds. The Question of Humanism: Challenges and Possibilities. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1991.
Haughness, Norman. "Postmodern Anti-foundationalism Examined: A Reconciliation Refused." The Humanist (July/August 1993): 19-21; and Thomas W. Clark, "Reply to Haughness." ibid., 21-22.
Haydon, A. Eustace. The Quest of the Ages. New York: Harper, 1929.
"Humanist Manifesto II." The Humanist 33 (Sept./Oct. 1973): 4-9.
Huxley, J.S. Religion Without Revelation. New York: HArper, 1927.
Kurtz, Paul, ed. The Humanist Alternative: Some Definitions of Humanism. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1973.
Kurtz, Paul, eupraxophy: Living Without Religion. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1989.
Lamost, Corliss. The Philosophy of Humanism. 7th ed. New York: Continuum, 1993.
Lippmann, Walr. A Preface to Morals. New York: MacMillan, 1929.
Morain, Lloyd and Mary. Humanism as the Next Step: An Introduction for Liberal Protestants, Catholics, and Jews. Boston: Beacon Press, 1954.
Otto, M.C. Natural Laws and Human Hopes. New York: Henry Holt, 1926.
Reexe, Curtis W., ed. Humanist Sermons. Chicago: Open Court, 1927.
Russell, Bertrand. The Scientific Outlook. New York: W.W. Norton, 1931.
Sellars, R.W. Religion Coming of Age. New York: MacMillan, 1928.