“The Persistence of Ghosts”

From ancient Egypt to modern Halloween, human culture is full of fantasies about spirits that haunt our houses and fill our imaginations. Sometimes, like Casper, they are friendly and fun. Other times they threaten and terrorize. Why are ghosts so ubiquitous? What purpose do they serve in our society and in our psyche? How should humanists deal with specters? As children once again prepare to trick or treat, Hugh Taft-Morales explores some of the history and culture surrounding these scary superstitions.

Hugh Taft-Morales serves as Leader of the Philadelphia Ethical Society and the Baltimore Ethical Society and is a member of the Ethical Action Committee of the American Ethical Union (AEU).  Hugh taught philosophy and history for twenty-five years in Washington, D. C., after which he transitioned into Ethical Culture Leadership.  In April of 2009 he graduated from the Humanist Institute and was certified as an Ethical Culture Leader by the AEU in 2010.

Born and raised in Connecticut, Taft-Morales graduated with a B.A. cum laude in American History from Yale University, 1979, and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Kent at Canterbury, England, 1986.  He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife, Maureen, a Specialist in Latin America for the Congressional Research Service.  They have three wonderful adult children – Sean, Maya, and Justin. Hugh’s hobbies include yoga, singing, and playing guitar.

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