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James Croft

  • Located in Somerville, MA
  • Vice-Chair of the Humanist Graduate Community at Harvard
  • Assistant Editor of The New Humanism
  • Founder of Temple of the Future
  • Humanist Celebrant

James Croft is a Humanist Activist and speaker well-known for his rousing and inspiring presentation on a wide range of topics. He is a candidate for an Ed.D in Human Development and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), and an Ethical Culture Leader-in-Training. He grew up on Star Trek, Sagan, and Shakespeare, and is a proud gay Humanist.

Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard, described James as "one of the most important young thinkers in the Humanist movement today, and an incredibly eloquent and entertaining speaker." His talks have been called "enchanting", "outstanding", "inspiring", "amazing", "enlivening", "entertaining", "eloquent", and "passionate".

He blogs at Temple of the Future, always attempting to infuse Humanism with beauty, passion and dynamism. He believes that society is desperately in need of living communities dedicated to human flourishing and freedom.
See an example of James on Youtube here.

James is available to speak to your group on the following topics:

Building a Secular Movement: In today's America the secular voice carries little weight. Secularists are crowded out of the cultural discussion by the voices of right-wing regressives who have political muscle way out of proportion to their numbers. Why do secularists always lose the PR battle? Why are they consistently outwitted and outvoted on public issues? Why is avowed secularism and atheism such a minority voice in the States? Because we are terrible at persuasion, and afraid of building a true movement. In this talk, James will provide an antidote and a challenge: if we want a movement, we need to work hard, work together, and be willing to challenge our own presuppositions.

Humanism: Creed of the 21st Century. In this talk James will trace the proud history of freethought and Humanism, particularly as it flourished in the United States, and argue that Humanism is the Creed of the 21st Century: an ethical philosophy of life that has repeatedly led the way on moral issues of the day, and can continue to do so if we push hard and act smart.

The Symbolic Poverty and Potential of Humanism. Art. Ritual. Narrative. Music. Organized religion harnesses all these symbolic resources in order to build strong communities, persuade others, and encourage congregations to act on their values. Organized Humanism and Secularism, in contrast, too often shies away from these powerful mechanisms, even viewing appeals to the emotions as morally suspect. In a lively and challenging presentation, James will demonstrate the importance of symbolism and argue that Humanism, despite it's current symbolic poverty, has great potential to become a more effective social movement by harnessing the symbolic power of the arts.

Humanist Education. Humanists, with their eye fixed on human welfare, should be deeply concerned with education. How can we raise young people to respect reason and evidence? What skills and attitudes should we foster to ensure our children can think critically? What values should we convey, and how should we convey them? To what extent is religious education necessary or valuable? Drawing on years of experience as a teacher, mentor, tutor and educational philosopher James will address all these questions and more.

Debates. James is a former Cambridge Union debater and high school debate coach. He will take on anyone, on any topic, anywhere.

Training. James is an experienced teacher and has trained with many of the greatest thinkers in education alive today. He is happy to provide training in Public Narrative, Storytelling, Public Speaking or Persuasion for groups who want an intense hands-on learning experience.
To see videos of some of James' talks, follow the links below.
James asks for a $299 honorarium but is more than happy to negotiate it with interested groups.
If you're interested in having this speaker come to your school and give a presentation, click here to fill out our online Speaker Request form.
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