Humanist studies

Do you guys know about any varsities that offer courses in humanist studies? I’m thinking philosophy would obviously be a major part of such a course, but why do they cater for so many other religious oriented programmes and yet, you never hear anything about humanist programmes or organizations.

I know the FSI can help you to become a secular wedding officer, but I doubt Jacques has a programme for that. I am not aware of any humanist chaplains in our hostpitals, schools or in SANDF/SAPS.

In fact I don’t really see any evidence of secular organizations in our country promoting secular values and ideas and the few organizations that do exist are very small one-man show type things with no real support base.

Has anyone done some market research to find out if there is a need in our country for secularists to organize or whether a secular organization can be turned into a sucessful cause?

There are lots of facebook pages and there are some pages and blogs you see pop up now and then, but I don’t see any effort in really organizing the secular community.

I’d like to hear what you guys know or think and feel?

Really briefly, as we’re in a crunch with end-of-semester stuff at the uni.

I’m off to the CFI conference in June, including some secular celebrant workshoppy thing, after which I hope to put together a programme at least for that, and start growing the secular marriage thing (and christenings and funerals).

Agreed - the FSI has done a fair bit, but it’s hard to gain traction and support, as a part-time gig.

I’ve been trying for around 10 years now - the ‘community’ is difficult to align, and I don’t have the answers. A fully-funded full-time job might get it done, but we don’t have that.

Ah, yes, cats and freethinkers will not be herded. Quite possibly, it would be self-defeating, were it otherwise.


Hrm, indeed, yet another opportunity for religionists to claim we’re just as full of dogma as they are.

But anywho…

Excellent, I will probably be in need of something like that in the next couple of years.

FSI? Flying Spaghetti Initiative?

I am already an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church - I would recommend that everyone follow suit. :slight_smile:

The ULC isn’t recognised by Home Affairs, though (unless there have been developments I’m unaware of) - and also isn’t consistently recognised internationally.

What about the Unitarian Universalists?

Free Society Institute.

I don’t know for sure, but I doubt it - they don’t advertise being able to solemnise in a UU capacity on their website. I’m giving a talk at the Somerset West branch on August 2, and will try to remember to ask.

Awesome, thanks!

What is the details about the event maybe I can attend

All I really know is this, from the email inviting me:

"We would be delighted to have you come to speak in August, on the 2nd at 10 am. We are a very friendly, informal group of 20-30 people, and we sit with plastic chairs in the round at the Somerset West Playhouse. (If you don’t know Somerset West, we can send easy directions.)

The person who facilitates for that meeting will open the session giving visitors a brief outline of Unitarianism, and we share joys and concerns of the community. Our speaker has 20-30 minutes to present his/her perspectives followed by 15 minutes or so of discussion. After that, we break for coffee, tea, refreshments and most importantly, conversation."

Awesome, I will mark it in my calendar and come say hi.
I never new there where Unitarians in my town.

Like to see my wife face when I say I’m going to church.

Well, here is at least one “course” on humanism - Kochar Online Humanist Education program it’s a programme of the Humanist Institute

Interesting reading, but I just wish our universities offered courses in Humanist[ic] studies, why do they cater for just about every religion and their philosophies and what-have-you, but nothing on secular education? (Apart from courses in philosophy in general)

I don’t think I’d want Humanism taught in a religious studies course, as it would feed into the misconception that we’re an alternative religion. Humanist ethical ideas are already (as you point out) addressed in philosophy courses. There is probably some other arrangement that could make sense, but I’m not seeing it right now (20 or so hours of travel back from the CFI conference later, with the Dubai to Cape Town leg still to come!).