Category Archives: Upcoming Events

Announcing Local March 30th event

The New Jersey Humanist Network hosts Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’d like to be

Saturday, March 30, 2019
1:30 pm – 3:45 pm
Franklin Township Library (Community Room)
485 Demott Ln
Somerset, NJ 08873

Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) is a national nonpartisan educational and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure freedom of religion, including the right to believe or not believe, for all Americans. AU envisions an America where everyone can freely choose a faith and support it voluntarily, or follow no religious or spiritual path at all, and where the government does not promote religion over non-religion or favor one faith over another.

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Upcoming Events – February 2019

Announcing two events – Feb. 12th and 13th:

(1) The Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science will host Pascal Boyer, cognitive anthropologist and author of “Religion Explained

“Why humans do not understand humans societies: Evolved Intuitive Sociology and the Social Sciences”

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 (International Darwin Day)
1:00 – 2:30 PM
Psychology Building Room 101
Busch Campus

From the abstract: “Understanding the evolutionary challenges of coordination helps provide more psychologically plausible social sciences.”
For more, click here to go to the RuCCS posting for this event

Also see Dr. Boyer’s most recent book “Minds Make Societies: How Cognition Explains the World Humans Create

(2) Humanist Community at Rutgers University –
Open Discussion

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
6:30 – 8:30 PM
College Avenue Student Center
Atrium Conference Room
126 College Avenue, New Brunswick

Grab something to eat in the food court and join us for a conversation about the work of Pascal Boyer, or recent events, or whatever else might be on your mind. All Rutgers students, faculty, and staff are welcome to join the dialogue.

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The Cognitive Science of Religion – November 19th

Monday, November 19, 2018
7:00 PM
Busch Student Center Room 122 BC
Professor Julien Musolino join us to hear about recent work in the cognitive science of religion with Dr. Julien Musolino, a Rutgers professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science, and author of the 2015 book The Soul Fallacy: What Science Shows We Gain from Letting Go of Our Soul Beliefs.
 The Soul Fallacy: What Science Shows We Gain from Letting Go of Our Soul Beliefs

Dr. Musolino also teaches a Rutgers undergraduate course entitled “The Religious Mind” and serves as a faculty advisor to the Humanist Community at Rutgers University.

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Politics on your mind? Mark your calendar for our next event:

Make Your Voice Heard in the Political Crowd: An Evening with Sarah Frey of the Secular Coalition for America.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Douglass Student Center
Douglass Lounge (on the second floor)
100 George St., New Brunswick

Sarah Frey, a lifelong NJ resident, will share many ways in which YOU can make the biggest impact by registering voters, holding your Members of Congress Accountable, and “crashing” your political party. The Secular Coalition for America is non-profit lobbying organization  which focuses on the First Amendment right to separation of church and state, and represents atheists, agnostics, skeptics, freethinkers, and all non-theists. Come meet your lobbyists in Washington and see how the grassroots movement gets its game!


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“The Truth About Mindfulness: Conversations in Secular Spirituality” with Robert Wright – March 3rd

Mindfulness meditation has become popular in the west as an essentially therapeutic technique that promises to reduce stress and increase happiness. But the Buddhist philosophy that was the ancient context of mindfulness meditation makes bolder promises: It sees meditation as an important part of a larger program that strips away delusions about the world and can even bring “enlightenment”.

This claim – that mindfulness meditation brings a truer vision of the world – suggests that any happiness it fosters might be a “valid” happiness in the sense of being based on accurate perceptions of the world. Modern psychology – particularly evolutionary psychology – offers some support for that view. 

Friday, March 3, 6:30 PM
Douglass Student Center, Meeting Room C (2nd floor)
100 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Please RSVP on Our Facebook Event Page


Image result for robert wrightROBERT WRIGHT is the author, most recently, of The Evolution of God, which was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His other books include The Moral Animal, which The New York Times Book Review named one of the ten best books of 1994, and Nonzero, which Bill Clinton called “astonishing” and instructed White House staff members to read. In 2009 Wright was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the top 100 global thinkers. Wright has written for The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Foreign Policy, and the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Financial Times. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and his awards include the National Magazine Award for Essay and Criticism. Wright has taught in the religion department at Princeton and the psychology department at Penn.

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Do we have a Soul?  Christianity and many other religions claim we do – but of course you have to have faith.   But do we really?

Rutgers Professor of Psychology Julien Musolino, a member of the Humanist Community’s Faculty Board of Advisers, argues in his new book The Soul Fallacy that science can investigate the question of whether or not we have a soul, as defined by these popular religions.  Further, he argues that the verdict comes back with a resounding “No, we do not have a soul.”  Pressing the issue even more, this actually turns out to be a good thing!

For more, check out this interview with Prof. Musolino on his book by Rutgers undergraduate and Applied Sentience staff writer Leo Kozachkov.

Musolino - Soul Fallacy Book Event

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Students, alumni, and friends in the New Jersey area!

Make sure not to miss Susan Jacoby, Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of The Age of American Unreason and Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, who will be speaking with The Red Bank Humanists on January 11th.

The title of Jacoby’s talk is “The Secular Conscience.”   Further details concerning time and location are in the flier below! (more…)

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During the summer thousands of incoming students – both Freshmen and Transfers – come to scheduled Resource Fairs on Livingston to learn all about the plethora of opportunities available to students.  The Resource Fairs are only for administration and non-student groups, like Chaplaincies.

If you’re interested in helping out and joining us while we answer questions about HCRU and Humanism then let us know.  We can’t take that many volunteers because of space, but we could certainly use some help.  Students are more than welcome to volunteer or stop by to say hello!

Resource Fairs will be held (more…)

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A couple of months ago, the Humanist Community at Rutgers was invited to be part of a inter-religious panel discussion on ‘Forgiveness.’ The invitation was sent by members of the Rutgers Hindu Student Council, who organized the event, to representatives of religious groups… and to us.  The event held this past April 24th was part of the 150th anniversary of the Council for a Parliament of World Religions.

Though our participation may be looked upon as forbidden by some secular purists, we consider it a great opportunity to open minds and hearts to the value of the humanist philosophy.  So we accepted, but also soon asked for some changes. The HSC graciously accepted and edited the name of this particular event to that of the ‘World Parliament of Religions and Philosophies.’

There were a variety of questions that the panel was asked, below.  For a detailed transcript of the Rutgers Humanist Community’s answers to the panel’s questions, check out the link.  The questions were (more…)

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