160 Years of Freethinking

  • post Type / Conferences
  • Date / 12 January 2007

SYMPOSIUM 1848-2008 – 22, 23 and 24 March 2008 – Sorbonne, Paris

2008 marks the 160th anniversary of the 1848 Revolution, as well as that of the birth of the first free- thinking circles.

1848 is an important year in French history – it marked the end of the monarchy in France, the abolition of slavery, the establishment of universal male franchise and the assertion of the right to work, among others. It was also a year of bloody confrontation between the two Republics: the “Marianne” and the “Sociale”.

Internationally too, it was in 1848 that a wave of people’s uprisings travelled through Europe and brought changes that influenced the continent’s landscape for decades to come.

The proposed international symposium 1848-2008 to be organized by IRELP (Research Institute for the Study of Freethought) will examine the connections between Freethinking and Revolutions, particularly the 1848 Revolution. It will also examine the impact of the Revolution on Freethinking and on international relations, notably in Europe.

We will also draw up an inventory of free thought by documenting its historical debates, and covering the last 160 years. Perspectives for the future will be presented. The international symposium is set to make important advances in knowledge about the Freethought movement, secularism and internationalism. It will be preceded on Friday evening (21st March 2008) by a banquet for hundreds of guests, to commemorate the first banquet of “good Friday” organized by Sainte-Beuve, in 1868. A tradition that the French Libre Pensée movement still perpetuates today.

A scientific council has been formed with Anne Morelli (Belgium), Fred Whitehead (USA), Max Wallace (Australia), Babu Gogineni (India), Claude Jenet (France), Louis Hincker (France), Michel Vovelle (France), Henri Pena-Ruiz (France) and Françoise Brunel (France). Several organisations, including the French National Freethought Organisation, the Bund Gegen Anpassung, the Italian Freethinkers (Giordano Bruno) and the Atheist and Freethinkers Union of Spain have already announced their enthusiastic support for this important event.

Contact Jean-Marc Schiappa, President of IRELP for more information at
10/12 rue des fosses saint-jacques
75005 Paris
E Mail [email protected]

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