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During my summer sabbatical, I visited a childhood friend who is a Sister of St. Joseph in the Catholic Diocese of Rochester, NY. She co-founded and operates Cobblestone Springs, an interdenominational retreat center in the Finger Lakes area, where I gave an afternoon workshop on “All-American Humanism.” That evening I spent an hour in silence with her and the other residents and visitors. At breakfast the next morning, she asked whether Humanism had a contemplative practice. While my colleagues and I have addressed humanist spirituality, I had to concede that it hasn’t yet taken the form of a practice or discipline, perhaps because we are so focused on ethical action.
Anne Klaeysen is leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, Humanist Chaplain at New York University (NYU), and Ethical Humanist Religious Life Advisor at Columbia University. She holds Masters degrees in German from the State University of NY at Albany and in business administration from NYU, as well as a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral counseling from Hebrew Union College. Dr. Klaeysen is also co-dean of The Humanist Institute and serves on the boards of The Encampment for Citizenship and Sunday Assembly NYC.
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