The book has been sent as part of the Umbrella Book Collection initiative, organised by Jersey Community Relations. The project provides schools with inclusive reading to celebrate diversity, and What is Humanism has been sent to schools alongside books on multiculturalism, religion and belief, disabilities, different types of families, adoption and fostering, LGBT inclusion, body positivity, refugees, and gender stereotypes.
Originally published in 2015, What is Humanism? has since become one of the most popular books for children on humanism. The book examines how humanists respond to fundamental questions about morals and ethics, the origins of life, religion, and the state. It also looks at how humanists mark the milestones of birth, marriage, and death and answers key questions including: ‘What does it mean to be a humanist?’ ‘Is humanism a new idea?’ ‘How do people live their lives without religious beliefs?’ And ‘How do people without a belief in god live moral and fulfilling lives?’
The book included contributions from a number of prominent humanists, including Humanists UK patrons Stephen Fry, Phillip Pullman, Natalie Haynes, and Humanists UK Vice Presidents Jim Al-Khalili and Shaparak Khorsandi, who explained their own philosophy and shared what is important to them.
This news follows the release of Humanists UK’s new website for schools and teachers, Understanding Humanism, which was launched in January. Schools in Jersey, and across the UK, have never been better equipped to provide high-quality lessons on humanism as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.
Channel Islands Humanists committee member and Deputy of the States of Jersey Louise Doublet, said:
‘I believe that representation is of vital importance to facilitate empathy, understanding of differences and the promotion of inclusion within our society. Books are a wonderful tool to achieve this.’
‘I hope that having access to this collection at school and the library will help children develop an awareness of and appreciation for the wonderful variety of people and cultures who make up our society. The books, especially when enjoyed alongside their parents, carers and teachers, will help children to become respectful, responsible and caring citizens of our island.’
‘We encourage teachers, pupils and their parents/carers to seek out and explore this wonderful collection and discuss them together. All of the books are age-appropriate and having used many of them when I was a teacher myself, I know that children are naturally accepting of others and enjoy learning about the topics included in the Umbrella Book Collection.’
Read more about our work on Channel Islands Humanists.
Channel Islands Humanists is a part of Humanists UK. Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 100,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.