Annual Humanist Summer School kicks off in Carlingford

Theme of Humanism, Religion and Spirituality

Staff Reporter


Staff Reporter

Annual Humanist Summer School kicks off in Carlingford

This year’s annual Humanist Summer School takes place in Carlingford next weekend (Sat 26 – Sunday 27 exploring the theme of Humanism, Religion and Spirituality.

According to Humanist Association of Ireland spokesperson, Eamon Murphy the school will tackle important questions such as:

Ever wondered whether it is possible for humanists to be both atheistic/agnostic and spiritual? Do you want to hear how society can move beyond religion, both spiritually and temporally, including towards a full separation of Church and State?

This year’s Humanist Summer School takes place at the Heritage Centre in Carlingford next weekend.

Murphy explained: “Overall the aims of the weekend are to explore the common ground between religion and humanism and discuss the idea of a humanist spirituality and how we might move beyond religion to a more secular island”

“Our guest speakers will be a mix of humanists, reverends, priests, academics, media commentators, even psychotherapists,  Many topics, will be explored including the areas where humanism and religion overlap; the reasons for conflict between the two; the roots and results of fundamentalism in modern society; and humanistic interpretations of traditionally religious concepts.”

Speakers include UCD lecturer Ailbhe Smyth of the Coalition to Repeal the 8th; occasional media commentator Fr. Joe McDonald; Professor Joachim Duyndam of the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht; and Reverend David Armstrong, who famously came into conflict with loyalist paramilitaries for his efforts at cross-community reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

Biodynamic Psychotherapist Gill Bell will explore the topic of spirituality, and Irish Freethinker and Humanist editor Brian McClinton will lead a discussion on moving beyond religion in Irish Society. The HAI’s Honorary President, Professor David McConnell of Trinity College, will give the opening address.