Chris Stedman, author of Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious, will speak on “Encountering Secular Humanism” on Nov. 16 at noon in the Anderson Student Center, Iversen Hearth Room.

The Star Tribune reports that Stedman’s story “calling for civil discourse between atheists and the religious couldn’t come at a better time,” and Christian Century magazine declares that Stedman’s “story needs to be heard and engaged.”

“For Stedman, secular humanism intrinsically involves care for people and service to society—goals that are incompatible with bigotry of any kind. And so his book is a hand of friendship offered to people of faith and no faith. Not just to make nice, but to make ways for people with very different motivations to serve others and build justice together,” writes Julie Polter of Sojourners magazine

Stedman is the founding executive director of the Humanist Center of Minnesota. Formerly the founding executive director of the Yale Humanist Community and a fellow at Yale University, he also has worked as a humanist chaplain at Harvard University and a content developer and trainer for Interfaith Youth Core. He currently serves as a fellow at the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship and at the Christensen Center for Vocation, both at Augsburg University.

Stedman has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS and Fox News, has spoken at hundreds of conferences and universities, and has written for publications including Salon, CNN, MSNBC, The Advocate, USA Today, The Huffington Post, The Rumpus and The Washington Post.

Details magazine named him one of “five next-gen gurus who are disrupting religion’s status quo” and Mic called him “the millennial who’s busting every stereotype about atheists.” He holds a summa cum laude BA in religion from Augsburg College (with minors in English and social welfare) and an MA in religion from Meadville Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago, for which he was awarded the Billings Prize for Most Outstanding Scholastic Achievement.

Free and open to the public, this session is the fourth in a yearlong series of eight on Encountering Religious and Cultural Traditions: A Series Fostering Religious Literacy and Interreligious Understanding sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning. While this session focuses on secular humanisms, other traditions in the series are Judaism, Islam, Contemporary Paganisms, Hinduism, Dakota tradition, Chinese traditions and Buddhism.

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