Dr. Matthew Ies SpetterDr. MATTHEW IES SPETTER, is a Leader at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and was Leader of the Riverdale-Yonkers Society from 1954 until his retirement in 1994.
For many years an Associate Professor at the Peace Studies Institute and the Department of Religion of Manhattan College he has also taught at Antioch College and Bard College.
A Social Psychologist by training he was acting Chairman and Chairman of the Department of Ethics of the three Ethical Culture Schools from 1951 to 1976; taught in the Encampment for Citizenship of the American Ethical Union and lectured in and co-Directed the Leaders Training Institute with Prof. Horace Friess and Dr. Howard Radest. He has been a Lecturer for the New York City Police Department on "Ethics and Violence" and addressed the Nursing Schools of Montefiore Hospital and New York Hospital.
Dr. Spetter studied at the Amsterdam City University in his native country, the Netherlands; was awarded a fellowship at the Leicester University, England, and received his Doctoral Degree from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York. Founder of the Riverdale Mental Health Clinic in 1960, he serves both on its Board and its Professional Advisory Council.
He is a Clinical Member of the American Association for Family Therapy and serves as a Family Therapist. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and its Social Psychology and Personality Division and of the Academy of Religion and Mental Health.
He was co-author of Bio Ethics and Human Rights (Eds. Bandman, Little Brown, NY) and of A Lively Connection (Ed. Neuhaus, Ethica Press NY).
During World War II Dr. Spetter served in sectors of the Dutch and French Resistance. Arrested in 1943, he was condemned to death because of his work on behalf of Allied Intelligence, subsequently he was a prisoner of the Nazis at the Buchenwald and Auschwitz Concentration camps. After his liberation he served in the Dutch Security Branch of the G2 - G3 section of the U.S. Army, Seine HQ and later functioned as a witness for the U.S. Prosecution at the International War Criminal Trials in Nuremberg, Germany. (Gen. Telford Taylor) He was awarded the Resistance Cross by the Government of the Netherlands.
A working member of the War Control Center since its inception he was a participant in the White House Conference on Disarmament. A Member of the Board of the International Humanist and Ethical Union Dr. Spetter has represented the AEU since 1957 and has delivered keynote addresses at the Congresses of the IHEU in Oslo, Amsterdam, and Hanover. He is an Alternate Delegate for the IHEU at the United National Non-Governmental Organizations and a Member of Amnesty International and the World Council on Peace and Religion.
Recent addresses were the Brown Lecture at Manhattan College on: The Holocaust and the Sanctity of Life and at the Free University in Amsterdam on: To Rescue the Human Spirit.
Among Dr. Spetter's many publications are: The Courage to Stand Alone (NY 1960); Man, the Reluctant Brother (NY 1967); Bruder Wider Willen (Barth Verlag, Munich, Germany 1969): To Deny The Night (NY 1970); De Dag Ligt Nog Voor Ons (Stockum, The Hague, Holland 1970); Symbolism, Ritual and Man (Rekenschap, Utrecht, Holland, 1971); Sounds of the Heart (Columbia Press, NY, 1980): Coping With Our Darker Hours (NYSEC, NY, 1994); The Work is Peace in: Building a World Community (Ed. Kurtz Prometheus, Buffalo, NY 1990). Humanists Say "Yes" to Life. Humetisk Forb. Norge, (Oslo, 1980); Our Hidden Oneness (NYSEC, NY, 1994).
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