Nature 158, 570-570 (26 October 1946) | doi:10.1038/158570b0

Rationalism in Education and Life


THE book under notice contains a full report of the papers read at the first annual conference of the Rationalist Press Association, held at Wadham College, Oxford, during August 1945, under the presidency of Sir John Hammerton. Besides dealing with more general problems, the programme was designed to elicit discussion of the rationalist policy for religious education in schools. It is to be noted that during the war years this subject was not neglected in the columns of Nature: witness, for example, a review of January 23, 1943, of Mr. A. G. Whyte’s pamphlet maintaining that the omission from religious instruction of all non-Christian faiths would be hard to justify in those times. Again, in an editorial in Nature of November 14, 1942, it was pointed out that on the question of religious education men of science differ as much as other intelligent people, for, as Pascal said long ago, “the heart has its reasons, of which reason itself knows nothing”.