(Portland, Oregon, November 19, 2009) Coinciding with the "Good without God" bus ad campaign of the Portland Coalition of Reason, the tour for the new book, "Good without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe," arrives in Portland today.
The book is published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, and its author is Greg Epstein, humanist chaplain at Harvard University. Epstein will speak this evening from 7:30 to 9:00 PM at Reed College in the Psychology Building, Auditorium 105. (The college is at 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd. in Portland. The Psychology Building is just north of the East parking lot, off of Woodstock.) His book will be available for purchase and signing.
Leslie Zukor, organizer of the event, which is sponsored by the Reed Secular Alliance and hosted at Reed College, said, "The book offers a challenge to the religious fundamentalism of the Christian Right as well as some of the ideas of the New Atheism. Thus Epstein, who truly understands religion, provides a much-needed voice for secular humanism today."
Epstein did his undergraduate work in religion and Chinese at the University of Michigan and earned graduate degrees from Michigan’s Judaic Studies program and Harvard’s Divinity School.
In addition to the lecture and book signing, the 13 local groups that launched the Portland Coalition of Reason on Monday will have literature available at the event for those who wish to meet locally with others of like mind.
"The book promotes the importance of building nontheistic communities," Zukor added. "So we think it’s important that attendees have a chance to learn where those communities already are in the Portland area."
This has also been described as the goal of the nationwide campaign. Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason, which funded the bus ads, said Tuesday, "The point of this ‘Good without God’ campaign is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States. Nontheists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community out there for them because they’re inundated with religious messages at every turn. So we hope this will serve as a beacon and let them know they aren’t alone."
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The Reed Secular Alliance ( www.reedsecular.org ) is a group at Reed College in Portland for students who are nontheists or who are committed to preserving the secular nature of the U.S. government.
The Portland Coalition of Reason ( www.PortlandCoR.org ) is a coalition of like-minded member organizations from in and around Portland, Oregon, that share a worldview grounded in reason over superstition, and scientific truth over revealed truth.
The United Coalition of Reason ( www.unitedcor.org ) exists to raise the visibility and sense of unity among local groups in the community of reason by providing funding and expertise to help them cooperate toward the goal of raising their public profiles.
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For more information contact:
Greg M. Epstein
Ben Bruton (publicist)