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Looking Back to Look Forward

Organised Humanism in the World: Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands and the United States of America, 1945-2005

The number of secular people has increased substantially over the past several decades, and research on secularism and non-religion has been on the rise these past years. Yet, until today, no publication had examined the evolution of organised freethought and subsequent secular humanism as it emerged in different Western countries in a comparative perspective. In Looking Back to Look Forward, a team of historians brings together the histories of secular humanism in some pioneer countries. They examine how organised freethought evolved in the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain and the United States, in the aftermath of World War II. As secular humanist organisations in these countries are some of the cofounders and long-lasting members of Humanists International (formerly International Humanist and Ethical Union), this book reveals how Western humanism developed in different circumstances.

This book was edited by Niels De Nutte and Bert Gasenbeek, with contributions by David Nash, Caroline Sägesser, Jeffrey Tyssens, and Stephen P. Weldon.

Looking Back to Look Forward was published with the support of the Flemish Government, deMens.nu, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Centrum voor Vrijzinnig Humanistisch Erfgoed vzw. It was assigned the GPRC label (Guaranteed Peer Review Content) by the Flemish organization Boek.be and is in compliance with the academic standards required by the VABB (Vlaams Academisch Bibliografisch Bestand).

All rights reserved. No parts of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.