The Society for Ethical Culture

Ever wonder where the Trancendentalists went? Me neither. But it turns out that they are still around, this time in the guise of “The Society for Ethical Culture“. It’s been around since 1878. They’ve got a huge place right outside Central Park at Central Park West and 64th Street.

Apparently, there’s a school right next to this place that is rated very, very highly. It is no longer associated with the Society, but that’s might be just a formality. The school is named something like the Ethical Culture School, so I presume there is some crossover.

From what I understand, they take on a distinctly religious sort of view, but without any bedrock of ultimate truth or of God.  They just want, according to the plaque below, to practice and love doing the right.

Of course, when I see something like this, my cantankerous nature says I need to find those organizations dedicated against ethical culture and hear their arguments, but that’s a rather thin viewpoint.

The plaque below states that the building is designed in the Austrian form of Art Nouveau and was built in 1909. The designer was a close friend of the founder of the Society, Felix Adler, and he served as the Society’s president from 1921 to 1944.

 Not pictured (it was really out of focus) is a standard sort of Church bulletin board that posts the Sunday services at 11:15. At least according to the Wikipedia article, the Society has taken on a distinctly Christian look and feel in its attempts to reach out to the public. It takes no stand on the existence of God, but wants to act as a religious brotherhood to bring about a better culture and community.

I can’t fault the goal.


Explore posts in the same categories: Manhattan, Upper West Side, Wanderings

One Comment on “The Society for Ethical Culture”

  1. dhyansi Says:

    The irony is that I landed on this post (high in the google search list) specifically to find arguments against Ethical Culture. They regularly sponsor intriguing lectures on philosophy that are free for members, $5 for non-members. I’m of course wary to take the plunge.

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