At the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture, Kurt Johnson explored relationships between ecology, spirituality and ethics. He has had a special interest in how Felix Adler’s Ethical Culture vision connects to modern transformational movements. Globalization, and the inevitable multiculturalization accompanying it, are forcing a global shift toward holism. This holism is emerging across not only cultures (and their attendant axial religions) but academic and applied disciplines like science, economics, governance, social structures and so on. Interestingly, for us, these shifts directly parallel those perennially predicted by the founders of Humanism, from August Comte to Felix Adler. We’ll take an exciting look at this “shift” and how it blends Humanism with just about everything else.
Dr. Kurt Johnson, interspiritual and cross-disciplinary leader. Kurt has worked in professional science and comparative religion for over 40 years and serves on many international committees, particularly at the United Nations. In comparative culture and religion, Kurt has been on the faculty of New York City’s One Spirit Interfaith Seminary for 12 years and is the co-author of the very influential 2013 book on the future of world religions: The Coming Interspiritual Age. In science, with a Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology and Comparative Biology he was on the staff of the American Museum of Natural History for 25 years and is currently associated with the McGuire Center for Biodiversity at the University of Florida. Kurt has published over 200 scientific articles and seven books, including the popular science bestseller Nabokov’s Blues: The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius. In 2015, his book on science and the arts, Fine Lines, appears from Yale University Press along contributions in a United Nations NGO publication: Ethics, Spiritual Values, and the New United Nations Development Agenda. Kurt has regularly presented on science and religion at The Science and Nonduality Conference and the Parliament of the World’s Religions and published articles on this inter-relationship in many periodicals, including audio discussions with Ken Wilber at Integral Life. He is a founding member of the Contemplative Alliance and President of the Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. At the United Nations, he serves on the Executive Committee of the UN NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns and the NGO Forum 21 Institute. Formerly a monastic for over ten years, and active in contemplative and sacred activism across several traditions, Kurt is also an ordained Eco-Minister and recently co-edited the Namaste Insights internet magazine on the eco-vision of interfaith pioneers Thomas Berry and Wayne Teasdale.