Program: Religion and Secularity, Phil Zuckerman
Submitted by Jim Lehman
Jim Marchant introduced speaker Phil Zuckerman, a Professor of Sociology and Secular Studies at Pitzer College and author of numerous articles and six books. His area of specialization, Secular Studies, is the interdisciplinary study of non-religious people, groups, thought, and cultural expression. Phil created the first Secular Studies major in the country at Pitzer. His books have been translated into many languages, including Chinese, Korean, Turkish, Italian, Danish, and Farsi—how’s that for a wide range of distribution? And they have received numerous awards. His book, Living the Secular Life, was a NY Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and was a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of 2014.
Phil has taught a range of courses including Sociology and Its View of the World, Sociology of Religion, Scandinavian Culture and Society, and Secularism, Skepticism, and Irreligion. He received a BA, MA, and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Oregon (impressive that a So Cal native could handle so many years of Oregon precipitation).
Finally, Jim noted that in alumni surveys, Phil is consistently listed as a favorite professor of alumni who took his courses, and the professor other alumni most wish they had taken if they didn’t. And so…..
With one child who’s a product of the Claremont schools, and two still in the system, Phil gave a shout out to Brett and Ann O’Connor (Ann has just taken the reins as Principal of Chaparral Elementary) and to Tim Harrison, who’s not just a mortgage broker but a savvy and skilled finance guy as well.
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