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Debate: Still the Opium of the Masses? Religion and Radicalism

The second of a series of three debates that will interrogate the state of secularism today.

The Institute of Ideas and Bishopsgate Institute present a series of three panel debates (7 February, 6 March, 3 April 2008) that will interrogate the state of secularism today. Taking inspiration from Bishopsgate Institute’s renowned collection on free-thought and secularism, the debates aim to continue in the long tradition of critical inquiry of religion and of its opponents.

We’re told that religion today is radical. Islamic extremists, evangelical fundamentalists, Catholic militants – the threat that faith poses to secular society is an aggressive, assertive and vehement one. Historically though, the faithful were slated by humanists for their conservatism, believing that where religion went wrong was in its opposition to change, not its advocacy of it. So are the religious now radical or has secular society simply taken on the conservatism of its God-fearing forebears?

Speakers will include Dolan Cummings (Research and Editorial Director, Institute of Ideas; Editor, Debating Humanism) amongst others. Alex Hochuli (Web Editor, Institute of Ideas; postgraduate student, King’s College London) will chair the debate.

For further information on the Institute of Ideas please visit www.instituteofideas.com.


Dolan Cummings | talks


Date and Time:

6 March 2008 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Bishopsgate Institute
230 Bishopsgate
020 7392 9200

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£7, concessions £5; advance booking required

Available from:

Call 020 7392 9220 between 9.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Additional Information:

Bishopsgate Institute is two minutes walk from Liverpool Street station.

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