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The Tree of Knowledge: Celebrating the Roots of Humanism

August 23, 2015 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Hugh Taft Morales
Dr. Anne Klaeysen Presides

Humanist Spirituality

A growing number of people today describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” They yearn for something more than mundane experiences of every day life, but without the trappings of dogma and bureaucracy. Hugh Taft-Morales explores ways humanists could best approach the word “spiritual?” Is it a danger to reason because, as the founder of Ethical Culture, Felix Adler, said, it is often “a synonym of muddy thought and misty emotionalism?” Or can naturalistic forms of spirituality found in Spinoza, John Dewey, and Carl Sagan enliven humanism today? How might humanist spirituality help us make progress on, to quote David Brooks, the “road to character?”

Born and raised in Connecticut, Hugh Taft-Morales graduated from Yale University in 1979 and earned a Masters in Philosophy from University of Kent at Canterbury. He taught philosophy and history for twenty-five years in Washington, D. C., after which he transitioned into Ethical Culture Leadership. He served on the Board of the Washington Ethical Society from 2002-2006, the last year as president. In April of 2009 he graduated from the Humanist Institute and was certified as an Ethical Culture Leader by the American Ethical Union (AEU) in 2010.

He currently is leader of the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia and the Baltimore Ethical Society. He serves as Vice President of the National Leaders Council of the American Ethical Union and is editor of the AEU’s Ethical Action Report.

Hugh lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife, Maureen, a Latin American analyst for the Congressional Research Service. They have three wonderful children – Sean (28), Maya (22), and Justin (19). Hugh’s hobbies include yoga, singing and playing guitar, and “watching way too much sports.”


August 23, 2015
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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