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Harvard Elects 'Progressive' Atheist as Head ‘Chaplain’

'We don’t look to a god for answers'

 on 29th August 2021 @ 2.00pm
greg  epstein  who wrote the book  good without god © press
Greg Epstein, who wrote the book 'Good Without God

Harvard University has unanimously elected a progressive atheist as president of its chaplains’ organization.

44-year-old Greg Epstein, who was raised as Jewish, will start his new role as president of Harvard.

Epstein, who wrote the book 'Good Without God,' told the New York Times:

“There is a rising group of people who no longer identify with any religious tradition but still experience a real need for conversation and support around what it means to be a good human and live an ethical life."

since 2005  epstein has served as harvard   s humanist chaplain and has been  teaching students about the progressive movement © press
Since 2005, Epstein has served as Harvard’s humanist chaplain and has been 'teaching students about the progressive movement

“We don’t look to a god for answers,” he said.

“We are each other’s answers.”

Since 2005, Epstein has served as Harvard’s humanist chaplain and has been “teaching students about the progressive movement that centers people’s relationships with one another instead of with God," the Times reports.

Epstein’s special areas of interest include “ethics in technology; meaning and purpose beyond religion; existentialism and humanism in literature and popular culture; developing healthy masculinity from a feminist perspective; secular humanistic Judaism; racial justice and healing; and the philosophy and practice of interfaith work," according to his bio.

Harvard’s Christian Science chaplain, Margit Hammerstrom, said she believes electing an atheist “works."

“Greg is known for wanting to keep lines of communication open between different faiths,” she said.

young americans are now rejecting faith in god and organized worship  according to a recent survey © press
Young Americans are now rejecting faith in God and organized worship, according to a recent survey

Epstein mentors “dozens of students” who “have found a source of meaning in the school’s organization of humanists, atheists, and agnostics."

Charlotte Nickerson, 20, an electrical engineering student, said:

“Greg’s leadership isn’t about theology."

“It’s about cooperation between people of different faiths and bringing together people who wouldn’t normally consider themselves religious.”

Young Americans are now rejecting faith in God and organized worship, according to a recent survey from the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University.

The American Worldview Inventory (AWVI) 2021 found that even though 57 percent of Millennials (born 1984-2002) consider themselves Christian, 43% “don’t know, care, or believe that God exists.”

The survey also found that young people define morality and success in terms of personal happiness.

It also observes that just 8 percent of Millennials say one should “treat others as you want them to treat you.”

Epstein counsels students struggling with both personal and theological issues such as social media pressures, family, and job-hunting.

Students attracted to Epstein’s humanist group have left their traditional faiths.

One student, Adelle Goldenberg, raised in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn, was attracted to Epstein’s humanist group and described his mentorship as having a secular rabbi.

“When the pandemic hit, I was like, ‘Greg, do you have time to talk about the meaning of life,’” Goldenberg said.

“He showed me that it’s possible to find community outside a traditional religious context, that you can have the value-add religion has provided for centuries, which is that it’s there when things seem chaotic.”

But Harvard's decision to elect an atheist as head chaplain drew backlash.

One Twitter user said:

“Completely missing the point of the role of a chaplain,” adding as well the election makes the Harvard label “less prestigious.”

According to a Pew Research Center poll from 2019, Christianity is continuing to decline rapidly, with more than 20% of the U.S defining themselves as an atheist, agnostic, or non-religious.

The research also found that religious people are likely to describe themselves as “very happy" compared to non-religious people.

[READ MORE] Indiana Mayor Dumps Democrats, Joins Republicans: 'I Must Be True to My God'

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tags: God | Christianity
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