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Sunday Platform with Joe Chuman: What Humanists Can Learn from the Religions

January 21 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Free and open to the public. In-person and online!

The religious character of Ethical Culture can be infinitely debated. But what is certain is that Felix Adler founded Ethical Culture a religious movement, though on the extreme left-wing of religious belief. As Ethical Culture evolved into an explicitly humanist movement, for many members it became identified as a secular in its basic commitments. This tension remains in Ethical Culture.

To the extent that it has veered toward a secular (and for some even an anti-religious worldview) in my opinion Ethical Culture has ceded essential values that are viewed as primarily the possession of the religions, though there is no reason all people of good-will, who strive to live ethical lives should not appreciate them. Among these values are reverence, repentance, atonement, grace and forgiveness.

My address will be an exploration of these values, as well as others, and how appropriating them for ourselves can enrich our lives.

Watch Online: Click to join at start | ID 863 0430 0961 | Passcode 609424
To join by phone (audio only), dial (929) 205-6099 and enter the Zoom ID above.

About Joe Chuman

Leader Dr. Joe Chuman started on his road to Ethical Leadership as a leader-in-Training here at the New York Society in 1969 and continued his training at the Bergen Society, after which he became Leader of the Essex County Society before returning to the Bergen Society, where he served as leader for 46 years, retiring in January 2021. Joe has been a leader at the New York Society Since 2008. During his long career, Joe has worked as an academic, a social justice activist, a speaker, and a writer. He has been teaching human rights in the Graduate School at Columbia University for more than 20 years, teaches human rights at Hunter College, and has taught at the U. N. University for Peace in Costa Rica and at other colleges.

As an activist, Joe has advocated for civil liberties, human rights, and other progressive causes and has frequently testified before the New Jersey legislature on such issues as religious freedom, gun violence prevention, death penalty opposition, and immigrant rights. He founded the Northern New Jersey Coalition for Asylum Seekers 20 years ago and still serves as its president. Joe has written numerous book chapters, encyclopedia entrees, scores of Op-eds, and is the author of “Speaking of Ethics,” a compilation of essays on Ethical Culture. Currently, he writes articles on political and socio-political issues on Substack and other social media outlets.

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About Sunday Platform

Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest.  Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Humanist philosophy. Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.

To watch previous Sunday Platforms, visit our Videos page and YouTube channel.


January 21
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category:


Ceremonial Hall (4th Floor)
2 W 64th St
New York, NY 10023 United States
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