SOCIETIES FOR ETHICAL CULTURE, THE. The first Society for Et heal Culture was formed in New York City in May, 1876, by Prof. Felix Adler and several associates. The purpose of the movement was to provide a centre for per sons who had lost their attachment to the tradi tional creeds and desired to aid in seeking what is good and in promoting the moral development of the individual and of society. A second society was formed in Chicago in 1882; a third in Philadelphia in 1885; and a fourth in Saint Louis in 18'86. A few years afterwards the first society la London was organized by Dr. Stan ton Coit. Other societies have since been formed in England, and in Germany (where there are 16), Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. The most important of these societies are those in the United States, England, and Germany, and at Zurich, Switzerland. An Ethical Congress and a convention of all the Ethical Societies in America were held in con nection with the tenth anniversary of the fourth society, in Saint Louis, in 1896. A congress of American and European societies was held at Zurich, Switzerland, in the same year, when the office of international Secretary was instituted. The societies in America seek less to gain ad herents than to establish their principles and perfect their organization. Not affirming any creeds and not hostile to any, the Society for Ethical Culture teaches that moral ends are supreme above all human ends and interests, and that the authority of the moral law is ho mediate and not dependent upon religious beliefs or philosophical theories. Neetings are held on
Sundays and arc devoted to addresses, with ex clusion of audible prayer and all forms of ritual. Special importance is attached to the ethical training of children, and important schools have been established in New York and other cities. The New York Ethical Culture School was the first to introduce manual train ing as a regular branch of the curriculum in ele mentary schools. Young men's societies, women's conferences, Sunday ethical classes, and the like come within the sphere of activity of the societies. The New York society had 900 members in 1901.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. The Ethical Record (biBibliography. The Ethical Record (bi- monthly) and a 'lecture supplement,' Ethical Addresses, (monthly), are issued by the Society for Ethical Culture of New York. The Inter national Journal of Ethics (quarterly, Phila delphia), while not the official organ of the so cieties. owes its origin and main support to them. Ethics (weekly, London) is the organ of the English societies, and Ethische Kultur (week ly, Berlin) represents the German movement. Consult the writings of Felix Adler, such as The Moral Education, of Children (New York, 1898) ; Creed and Deed (ib., 1877) ; Life and Destiny (ib., 1903) ; W. M. Salter. Ethical Religion (Boston, 18S9) : W. L. Sheldon, att Ethical Sunday School (New York, 1900) ; id., An Ethical Movement (ih., 1896) : Stanton Coit, .Neighborhood at/i/ds (London, 1892).