FUTURE PROJECTS

ONLINE

Our next exciting project will be to produce the Religious Humanist podcast. This will consist of 20-30 minute high quality episodes released weekly, with the following rotation of episodes:

1) Sermons: Humanist sermons teaching life-skills and drawing illustrations from science and culture;

2) History: Interviews that explore the history of religion and related topics;

3) Science: Interviews on the science of religion and religious experience;

4) Scripture: Literary reviews of books and other media focusing on how they can inspire and motivate, thus functioning as scripture; and

5) Prophets: Spotlighting of activists who are making the world better in innovative, sustainable ways–our generation’s prophets.

Transcending Religion will be an interactive website designed to match you to your ideal religious experience. There will be portals that cover Past, Present, and Future.
Past will lead you to an interactive overview of how religion and humans coevolved.
Present will explore the mismatch between our evolution and modern life.
Future will outline three approaches to improve religion:
1) Religion Better Than True;
2) Spiritual Regimen;
3) Humanist Denominations, with a wealth of multi-media and interactive resources related to each. Eventually the Future portal will be a simulation experience where you virtually prepare yourself, visit the library, enter the sacred space, and listen to sermons. 

EDUCATION

The Olam Institute plans to collaborate with universities to improve and expand course offerings in Religious Studies. Those who contribute to the Institute will be able to attend these classes, and the courses will be posted online. 
 
We will also help produce publications that further our three goals: 1) articulating the best form of current religions; 2) facilitating individual thriving through structured spirituality; and 3) developing Humanist religious denominations. These will include such projects as ethical critiques of world scripture, producing children’s books to teach morality, collected essays by religious leaders, and works that envision and model possible best possible futures of religion. 

COMMUNITY

Our most ambitious goal is to work toward the establishment of Religious Humanist Denominations. Yes, we are talking about actual buildings with real life communities. We will initially develop four:

 

Life Church: High Church Humanism. Imagine a deeply ritualistic religious experience including beautiful architecture, stained glass windows, communal meals, choirs, embodied worship, rites of passage–but the sermons draw from culture and science, the goal is well-being in this life, and the whole exercise is supported by our best understanding of how we work as human beings. Imagine a Pantheon of personified principles. Life Church will draw from aspects of the following more specific denominations. 
 
Geek Church: Religionized popular culture. Imagine a Bible that teaches ethics and life skills by drawing from Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and comic books, and other beloved sources. Who would your totem superhero be? 
 
Earth Church: Religionized environmentalism. Imagine hell as the destroyed world we careen toward if something doesn’t change. Heaven is the sustainable paradise hopefully still within our reach. Sin is sin against the earth. Pray to Mother Earth, prepare healthy communal meals with food from the garden, and engage in activism to heal the world. 
 
The Olam Institute will also sponsor other activities such as lectures and conferences, as well as facilitating in person meetings while we move toward fully organized congregations. All denominations will be actively involved in service and activism and collaborate with other organizations working to address the urgent problems we face in the world.
 

  *Note: These images simply represent approximations to evoke some idea of what these denominations could be like; click on the links to learn more.