An Epicurean Church? What’s that?

It’s a church that teaches Epicurean Humanism: a community that draws on Epicurean philosophy, and Stoic philosophy, and on the scientific study of human well-being, and on the psychological understanding of healthy and unhealthy mental states.

It’s a church that – through charitable activity, and study groups, and regular services, and all the other things that churches do – promotes goodness and community without needing to mention God.

Following the lead of Alain de Botton and Daniel Dennett, I want to create a real religion for atheists. Why should God have all the best tunes?

From pastoral care to choral singing, from social activism to Thought For The Day, theists have created an illusion that they have the monopoly. We believe that a genuinely atheist, skeptical, humanist spirituality can be created on the foundations of Epicurean and Stoic philosophy, helped by scientific knowledge of the causes of – and cures for – common forms of unhappiness.

This is not an attempt to co-opt the whole of atheism to this cause; just as there are a thousand ways to be a theist, so there should be a thousand ways to be an atheist – of which I hope this can become one.

If you’re interested in the vision, come along!

Where will I find an Epicurean Church?

Right now? Nowhere.

A small group of us in South and West Yorkshire are getting together to create the first one. We plan to have a presence on social media, but that can wait until we have some structures in place.

The intention is that we will produce a blueprint for running a church – including principles, structures, a calendar of feasts, ceremonies and a programme of spiritual development. We will then make it available under a Creative Commons Licence so anyone can adopt and amend it to suit their needs. To be called “Epicurean Humanist” such a church will need to abide by the core principles, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t create a Stoic Parish, a Humanist Mosque or a Godless Gurdwara on the same general model.

If you want to join us, or just make contact, use the form below.

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