October 27, 2019 @ 11:00 am
Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture
4450 Fieldston Rd
Bronx, NY 10471
Most weeks, voluntary donations are split between the work of the Society and an organization whose work in the world honors human worth.

Building Bridges Between Atheists and Theists

Is the chasm of understanding between atheists and theists growing wider? Can atheists and theists identify shared values and build partnerships for the common good, or are their disagreements too vast? Former evangelical Christian and current humanist community builder and researcher Chris Stedman will share his story, discuss what atheists and theists can gain from being in dialogue, and reflect on how we can come to better understand one another, forge a shared sense of community and belonging, and work together to improve the world we all share.

About our Speaker: Chris Stedman is a humanist community organizer and writer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the author of Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious, “an intimate and deeply affecting portrait… [that] proves [he is] an activist in the truest sense and one to watch” (Booklist, Starred Review). Chris is also the founding executive director of the Humanist Center of Minnesota, a project through which he and a group of researchers at the University of Minnesota and the University of Massachusetts Boston are studying the beliefs, practices, and community involvement of the religiously unaffiliated.  Formerly the founding executive director of the Yale Humanist Community and a fellow at Yale University, he also worked as a humanist chaplain at Harvard University and a content developer for the Interfaith Youth Core. He currently serves as a fellow at Augsburg University.

Chris has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and Fox News, has spoken at hundreds of conferences and universities, and has written for publications including The Guardian, The Atlantic, Pitchfork, BuzzFeed, VICE, The Los Angeles Review of Books, CNN, MSNBC, USA Today, Salon, The Washington Post, and others. Details magazine named him one of “five next-gen gurus who are disrupting religion’s status quo” and Mic called him “the millennial who’s busting every stereotype about atheists.” He is currently finishing work on his next book, IRL: Finding Realness, Meaning, and Belonging in Our Digital Lives, which examines what it means to be human in the age of social media, and he also writes THREAD, an occasional newsletter exploring the threads that connect online and offline life. Chris holds a summa cum laude B.A. in Religion from Augsburg (with minors in English and Social Welfare) and an M.A. in Religion from Meadville Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago, for which he was awarded the Billings Prize for Most Outstanding Scholastic Achievement. In 2018 Augsburg selected him for their annual First Decade Award, which recognizes alumni “who have made significant progress in their professional achievements and contributions to the community” ten years after graduating. Learn more at chrisstedmanwriter.com.

Ethics for Children meets concurrently with our Sunday programs. Please join us!

11 a.m. is gathering time, to meet and greet one another.  We start the formal program at 11:15 and usually end about 12:30, though this Sunday the special ceremony that may go past 12:30 (no judgment if you leave early).  After that, we have a time of informal conversation with some beverages and snacks.  Please feel free to bring some snacks to share!  

Our Ethics Matters theme for October is Belonging: the basic human need to connect to others, to be part of a group, to be part of something larger than our individual self.

Update: Here is Chris Stedman’s talk from this Sunday:

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