Author of Best-selling “Good Without God” To Speak at Allegheny College

Feb. 28, 2013 — Greg M. Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, will speak at Allegheny College on Monday, March 4 at 7 p.m. in the Tillotson Room of the Tippie Alumni Center.

Scheduled in conjunction with the college’s Year of Transforming Education, Epstein’s lecture topic will be “Good Without God: Rethinking College Chaplaincy.” Following his lecture, he will sign copies of his New York Times bestselling book, “Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe.”

Epstein has been Humanist Chaplain at Harvard since 2005 and serves as vice president of the 36-member corps of Harvard Chaplains. He is ordained as a Humanist Rabbi from the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism. He holds a B.A. in religion and Chinese and an M.A. in Judaic studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Masters of Theological Studies from the Harvard Divinity School.

Under his leadership, the Humanist Chaplaincy has seen the growth of new programs and initiatives that have helped turn the concept of Humanist chaplaincy into a topic of national discussion. He directs the Humanist Community Project, a laboratory for the development of multicultural, multigenerational Humanist communities locally and nationwide.

Epstein’s work has been featured by the New York Times, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, ABC News Network, Al Jazeera, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, BBC Radio, USA Today, Newsweek, US News and World Report, the Boston Globe, the Jewish Daily Forward, the Christian Century, the Guardian and many more. His writing on Humanist community has been featured by CNN, Newsweek and the Washington Post and was recognized as the “Best of 2012” by WBUR, Boston’s NPR affiliate.

Epstein also serves as technical advisor to the Inclusive America Project, an initiative of the Aspen Institute co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. From 2007 to 2010 he chaired the advisory board of the national umbrella organization the Secular Student Alliance, joining such renowned nonbelievers as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.

Greg Epstein grew up in Flushing, Queens, New York, as an assimilated 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 Zen Buddhism in its original language and context. He returned to the U.S. and shifted his focus to rock music, recording and singing professionally for a year after college before joining the Humanism movement and exploring a career as a Humanist rabbi and chaplain.

His lecture at Allegheny College is supported by the Harry C. and Madeleine King Winslow Ecumenical Lecture Fund. For information on his Allegheny appearance, contact the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life at 814-332-2800 or