Humanist Communities

Many humanists affirm the goodness of cultures, family structures, and affinity groups as opportunities for individuals to experience the goodness and fullness of life. However, a shared lack of belief in the supernatural has historically not been a sufficient rallying point for humanists interested in gathering and sharing in fellowship. A wide variety of contemporary humanist organizations exist today. Some humanist communities explicitly seek to fill the role that religious services fill for others. Other organizations prioritize political and community organizing, galvanizing humanists’ engagement as a voting bloc. Humanist conferences, podcasts, and online communities serve a variety of purposes, including helping humanists pursue intellectual growth.  

Hillel Steinberg, Reason Rally; Flickr Creative Commons, http://bit.ly/1UoPyeA

Atheist rallies and conferences have often served as spaces for humanists to gather with likeminded citizens. In recent years, events like the “Reason Rally” sponsored by a number of atheist and secular groups have sought to organize non-religious Americans as a voting bloc. Atheism and humanism conferences across countries in the West offer programing for humanists on how their worldview can speak to current social and political issues.

Many such conferences are the offerings of official atheist and humanist organizations like the American Humanist Association, the British Humanist Association, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and the Council for Secular Humanism. These organizations provide news on social justice issues related to non-theists, connect members with local chapters of humanist and freethought groups, and work to advance humanist principles in law, education, and the media. 

Mike Linksvayer, Humanist Church; Flickr Creative Commons, http://bit.ly/2asEDRc

In the past decade, a number of local humanist congregations have formed to provide humanists with regular community fellowship. London-based “Sunday Assembly” is a weekly meeting for atheists and humanists that includes singing, speakers, and a post-service coffee hour. 70 Sunday Assembly congregations have been instituted across 8 countries, including Australia, South Africa, and Hungary. Other humanist communities have grown out of universities. Some American universities now offer humanist communities overseen by humanist chaplains.

Image Sources:

Hillel Steinberg, "Reason Rally,"Flickr Creative Commons, http://bit.ly/1UoPyeA 

Mike Linksvayer, "Humanist Church," Flickr Creative Commons, http://bit.ly/2asEDRc 

See also: Humanism