Greg Epstein

Greg Epstein

Humanist Chaplaincy (Humanist/Agnostic/Atheist)
Greg Epstein

E-mail:  greg_epstein@harvard.edu
Telephone:  (617) 495-5986
Address:  The Humanist Hub, 30 JFK Street, Fourth Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138

Greg grew up in Flushing, Queens, New York, “the most diverse neighborhood in the most diverse borough in the most diverse city on the planet,” as an assimilated and disinterested Reform Jew. He studied Buddhism and Taoism while at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, and in college went to Taiwan for a semester aiming to study Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism in its original language and context. Finding that Eastern religions do not necessarily have greater access to truth than Western ones, he returned to the U.S., shifted his focus to rock music, recording and singing professionally for a year after college. Soon thereafter, he learned of the movement of Humanism and the possibility of a career as a Humanist rabbi and chaplain.

In 2005, Greg received ordination as a Humanist Rabbi from the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, where he studied in Jerusalem and Michigan for five years. He holds a BA (Religion and Chinese) and an MA (Judaic Studies) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Masters of Theological Studies from the Harvard Divinity School.

Epstein was the primary organizer of “The New Humanism,” an international conference in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, which drew one of the largest and most diverse audiences of any Humanist gathering in North American history. He blogs for Newsweek and The Washington Post. He is an adviser to two student groups, the Harvard Secular Society, the Harvard Interfaith Council, and to the Harvard Humanist Graduate Community. He also chairs the Academic Advisory Board of the national umbrella organization the Secular Student Alliance, joining such renowned nonbelievers as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.