Humanist Society Symbol from the 1950sA Humanist Society Symbol from the 1950s is one of the decorations on pages of our membership book.Our congregation's connections to the Humanist Movement go back to the 1920s.  In 1933, congregant Roy Wood Sellars drafted the first version of the Humanist Manifesto. One of the signatories was our minister at the time,  Rev Harold P. Marley. The Humanist Studies Group explores our history of humanism and discusses issues relating to ethics, philosophy, religion (including atheism and agnosticism). Members of the group share books on related topics.

The Humanist Study Group welcomes all members and friends of the UUAA Congregation. Meetings are twice a month on the first and third Thursday afternoons from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Check the white board at the UUAA entry for the room location.

The group is structured to be a place where individuals can share their thoughts and feelings openly without challenge or criticism. The Humanist label of the group means that anything which pertains to human processes of thinking, feeling, or behaving is open for discussion. It is not specifically focused on more general humanist doctrine or advocacy, but these topics do come up for examination.

In 2016-17 the group considered 63 topics, articles and/or books; to view the list of topics, click this link. By exploring concepts and issues of importance to the members, each of us thinks more broadly after our discussions. An implicit goal of the Humanist Study Group is to engage and apply the understandings, insights, and values we gain from our discussions in our lives outside of the group, to become better people.


Links to more information about Humanism

Humanism at UUAA

This congregation played a key role in the development of humanism as a prominent force in 20th century Unitarianism and in the evolution of humanism in the United States. Follow this link to read an excerpt from the history of our congregation that appears in the Program that was prepared to celebrate this congregation's 150th Anniversary.


  • Humanist Voices in Unitarian Universalism, Kendyl L. R. Gibbons and William R. Murry, editors; published in 2017 by Skinner House Books, an imprint of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, MA. Available from this link. This book is being discussed at the fall 2017 meetings of the Humanist Study Group.
  • Regaining Balance: The Evolution of the UUA, by Michael Werner, published in 2013. Available from this link. The Humanist Study Group read this book in 2016.


Humanist Manifestos

  • Humanist Manifesto I (1933)  One of the people who helped draft this document was Roy Wood Sellars, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan. He was an active friend of UUAA who signed our membership book in 1934. He also was a signer of the second Humanist Manifesto. This manifesto was also signed by the UUAA minister at the time, Harold P. Marley.
  • Humanist Manifesto II (1973)
  • Humanist Manifesto III (2003)


Other information


Humanist organizations