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At the Tufts Humanist Chaplaincy, we hope to foster a comfortable environment for people to engage in honest discussions around the challenges in their lives, and to explore how people outside traditional religion approach questions that many faith traditions engage regularly. Our day to day lives, on campus and off, can be challenging just as they are exciting, but we don’t always have a structured hour in the week to sit down and reflect on the way we’ve grown, and the lessons we can learn from the experiences of others.

At small group reflections, the Humanist in Residence facilitates an open, respectful, and confidential conversation around a chosen theme that concerns and informs many of our choices and experiences in our life journey. The conversation is rooted in a text (or other piece of culture) written from a Humanist perspective that engages the theme, and from there will be open to the perspectives and experiences of everyone present in the group. Those present are encouraged to bring pieces of culture that inspire their own values on the theme, including and especially those from other faith traditions.

The upcoming small group reflection will be led through a passage from Stephen Fry. It will be on Monday, March 14th, at 9pm in the Interfaith Center downstairs meeting room. Small group reflections are open to all members of the Tufts community, irrespective of anyone’s belief background. Light refreshments will be served!


Stephen_Fry Stephen Fry is a British author, actor, and television personality, perhaps best known for his work opposite Hugh Laurie in the prolific comedic duo that produced Jeeves and Wooster (1990-93) and A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1989-95), and as the host of the British panel game show QI. His myriad contributions to English language fiction at times reflect his own experience as a gay man living with bipolar disorder and at times lift up the experiences of others suffering crises of health and spirituality, as he did in documentaries The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive (2006) and HIV and Me (2007).

In particular, Fry is an outspoken and acclaimed atheist and Humanist–notably arguing in the importance of “nail[ing] one’s colors to the mast as a Humanist.” For his contributions to exploring the cultural shifts in spirituality and the burgeoning Humanist movement, he was award the Humanist Community at Harvard’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism in 2011.

In our next small group reflection, we’ll read a short passage from Fry’s novel Revenge and ask ourselves if it speaks to something within us:

You think I have more than most people dream of? What other people dream of doesn’t matter. I always had less than I ever dreamt of. All I ever dreamt of was family. A father and a mother. Most people don’t even need to dream of such luxuries, they take them for granted. That is what I used to dwell on, alone in my bedroom. I dwelt as all children do, on the injustice. Injustice is the most terrible thing in the world, Oliver. Everything that is evil springs from it and only a cheap soul can abide it without anger.

Fry, Stephen. Revenge: A Novel. Random House, 2003. (87)