Reading Stanton Coit

Stanton Coit (1857-1944) has always been one of “those names” — a Humanist source for pleasingly churchly worship material, a quoted authority, largely an enigma. Partly to since he was a Humanist, I wasn’t likely to come across him. But I saw some of his work in the 1937 Services of Religion (prepended to Hymns of the Spirit) and looked up his Wikipedia article, which provided much of the following reading list. See the links to read the PDFs. (Will fill in the gaps if the works appear online.) And thanks to Humanist Heritage for this delightful photo of Coit in beach togs.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Scott, What kind of reader are you using to download these books? Thanks again for this link. I just skimmed the book on Nationality and Religion.. the preface at least holds up well for a modern reader. I think UUs would be well served to reread some of these authors. I get the feeling we spend far too much time wrestling over and over again with questions our forbearers have already answered. Not that we have to buy their answers, but we can build on the bits we still find worthwhile.

  2. I will remember the Stanton Coit name. I am trying to get people to read Richard von Mises on Positivism, which for my money is a more coherent way of thinking than most humanism. It perhaps was no accident that the most perceptive response to my paper on von Mises came from a mechanical engineer (which von Mises was, among other things), and the least adequate response came from a well-known humanist minister.

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