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I’ve found that a lot of books about humanism are large and academic. They’re good, but not perhaps the sort of book you might just dip into for a bit of inspiration or wisdom. I wanted such a book to exist. So that’s what this little book is – a collection of ancient and modern humanist ideas and perspectives… I hope you find joy and inspiration, thoughtful reassurance, insightful reflection and hope within its pages – as I have done.

Alice Roberts, ‘For humanists, the meaning of life is simple and natural’ in The Scotsman, 17 August 2020

Published in 2020, The Little Book of Humanism continued a long tradition of crystallising the ideas and ideals at the heart of humanism into a compact, comprehensive collection. Over the years, humanists have created books of humanist poetry, readings and references for humanist ceremonies, and anthologies of the humanist tradition – even guidebooks for the secular sightseer, like William Kent’s 1932 London for Heretics. The Little Book of Humanism, compiled by Andrew Copson and Alice Roberts, gathered over two thousand years of humanist wisdom, in illustrations, stories, quotes, and meditations, exploring how to live an ethical and fulfilling life, grounded in reason and humanity: a new anthology for the 21st century. The book’s entry onto the Sunday Times Bestseller List was clear evidence of the ever-increasing interest in the humanist approach to life.

The Little Book of Humanism was followed in 2021 by The Little Book of Humanist Weddings, which compiled quotes, stories, and meditations on love, marriage, partnership, and commitment – drawing on the experience of humanist celebrants, and the words of humanists the world over. Both books acknowledged the growing number of non-religious people in the UK, many of whom already live by humanist values – even if they don’t yet know the word – and many of whom will attend, or choose to have, a humanist wedding.

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