Ethical Culture movement, originating in the Society for Ethical Culture, founded in New York City in 1876, by Felix Adler. Its aim is "to assert the supreme importance of the ethical factor in all relations of life, personal, social, national, and international, apart from any theological or metaphysical considerations." No definite ethical system is insisted upon, although Adler's own ethical thought has naturally had much influence. The society holds its own religious services, but members may have other religious affiliations if they wish. Societies were organized in Chicago (1882), Philadelphia (1885), St. Louis (1886), Brooklyn, N.Y. (1906), and later in other cities. In England, Stanton Coit founded the South Place Ethical Society, London, in 1887; other societies have since been founded there. In 1896 the International Union of Ethical Societies was organized, uniting the movement, which had become worldwide. Although its membership is not large, the movement has enlisted a number of intellectual leaders.
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