Humanism as Heresy. Testing the thesis of Tom Holland. A conversation with Rupert Sheldrake

An audio version of this talk is at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds.

The secular historian, Tom Holland, has made the case that atheistic humanism is, at heart, an off-shoot of Christianity. In this episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon ask how that can be so.

After all, contemporary humanists are inclined to blame Christianity for all ills, not thank Christianity for seeding values they share. Rupert and Mark agree that there is much in what Holland argues. For example, the tendency to evangelise for western values, as well as fall into dispute over what they might be, mirrors Protestant Christianity.

But Mark is also wary of Holland’s theory, both as history and also because it risks presenting Christianity is a moral creed, not a revelation of the relationship between the human and divine. (A recent speech that Holland gave outlining his ideas can be found at and the website of the think tank, Theos.)

For more in our longstanding series of dialogues see and