Monistic Sunday Sermons (flickr slide 7)
Flickr slide #7 from Libb Thims’ 2015 “Zerotheism for Kids” lecture, wherein it was explained that what the kids were learning was a modern version of Wilhelm Ostwald’s famous 1910 “Monistic Sunday Sermons”; where, just as Ostwald taught that energetics-evolution based, humans as “CHNOPS combinations”, monism replaces the old theism-based, humans as god-made clay creations, beliefs of the past, so to, in modern terms, the upgrade thermodynamics-evolution based, humans as CHNOPS+22 molecular forms”, monism (or one nature zerotheism) replaces theism, itself a replacement for polytheism (according to the Critias hypothesis). [5]
In lectures, Monistic Sunday Sermons, or “Monistische Sonntagspredigten” (German), were a series of sixty plus “sermons” or lectures given by German physical chemist Wilhelm Ostwald in 1910 on how energy-based monism replaces theism, and the repercussions and details of this view; a type of natural science based atheism Sunday school, so to say, devoid of any supernatural suppositions. [1]

In 1887, German physical chemist Wilhelm Ostwald, in a lecture at Leipzig, outlined his new “energism” view, as American historian Niles Holt refers to it, according to which all natural processes are essentially transformations of energy, and most-contentiously that: “matter is only a mirage, which the mind creates to comprehend the workings of energy.” [2]

In 1890, Ostwald entered into the universal theory of everything arena of the “all is energy” philosophical motto, following a spring physics conference in Berlin, wherein Ostwald attempted to convince a group of physicists to adhere to the following new outlook: “from now on the whole of physics has to be represented as a theory of energies.” [3] This incident has been documented by American energetics historian Robert Deltete in a series of articles. The group found the idea “so absurd that they refused to take it seriously at all” and offered only “ridicule and abuse”. The next morning, Ostwald awoke early and went for a walk in the Tiergarten, and had a “personal Pentecost”, as he described it, seeing clearly the view that “all is energy”.

In 1905, Ostwald came into serious conflict with the university, the reason being concerned with “religious questions”, as biographer Eduard Farber puts it, at the time of the official obsequies for freethinker Johannes Wislicenus (1835-1902). The tensions came to a breaking point, when Ostwald was asked to be relieved of lecturing duties, after which he was suspended until 1906, officially appointed as an exchange professor to the United States.

In 1906, after his "forced" retirement, per religion-siding conflict of interest issues, Ostwald found a new sphere for his scientific and organizatorial talents. Besides continuing his studies and publications on philosophy, such as Der energetische Imperativ (The Energetic Imperative), Moderne Naturphilosophie (Modern Natural Philosophy), Die Pyramide der Wissenschaften (The Pyramid of the Sciences), he also took an active part in public life.

In 1906, Ernst Haeckel founded the “Monisten Bund” or German Monist League (Ѻ), in Jena, a free-thinking organization centered on promoting some type of monistic world view, anchored in some way on a mix of Goethe’s 1809 metamorphology theory, Darwin's 1959 theory of evolution, and Ostwald's 1898 energetics view. (Ѻ)

In 1909, Ostwald one the Nobel Prize in chemistry for: “recognition of his work on catalysis and for his investigations into the fundamental principles governing chemical equilibria and rates of reaction.” (Ѻ)

In 1910, Haeckel elected Ostwald as the president of the Monist League, after which he began giving his famous “Monistic Sunday sermons”, as Haeckel (1913) called them. Ostwald, in this direction, was interested in educational reforms and in monism. He believed that in view of his position he could decisively fight the Church's claim to power in the field of natural sciences and to spread a modern scientific ideology. This aim he pursued in his writings Monistische Sonntagspredigten (Monistic Sunday sermons) and Arbeiten zum Monismus (Works on Monism). (Ѻ)

In 1911, the lectures were published in book form entitled Monistic Sunday Sermons, wherein, in each short chapter, Ostwald mused about “why were are monists”, “how evil came into the world”, “religion and science”, the “energetic imperative”, the “development of god”, “prayer”, among others. [4]

See also
Zerotheism for kids

The following are example quotes from Ostwald’s Sunday sermons:

“The more our culture declines, the more cherished religion proves to be; the more our culture rises, the more religion will take a backseat and will be substituted by science. Will religion become completely dispensable some day? It is to be expected historically that one social class after the other will rise from the sea of religious ideas and will form a fruitful land for humanity. That religion will slowly become dispensable is therefore a process that develops in steps, and it is not yet clear when this process will have reached all of humankind.”
Wilhelm Ostwald (1909), Monastic Sunday Sermons (Sermon #4: “Religion and Science) (pgs. 30, 32) [6]

“Looking at the entire development of the concept of god, we can conclude that now we can ultimately leave behind the dualism of the past four centuries or so, and approach a ‘monism’. However, the earlier religious monism must be substituted today with a ‘scientific monism’. This is not the monism that is organized on an animistic, anthropomorphic, or priestly foundation, but a new monism based on the highest cognitive performances that our brain, which is far more developed than in earlier stges, enables us to achieve.”
— Wilhelm Ostwald (1909), Monastic Sunday Sermons (Sermon #) (pg. 199) [7]

1. (a) Contakes, Stephen. (2013). “Exploring the New Atheist Movement with Wilhelm Ostwald” (Ѻ),
(b) Stephen Contakes (faculty) – Westmont College.
2. Holt, Niles R. (1977). “Wilhelm Ostwald’s ‘The Bridge’” (abs), The British Journal for the History of Science, 10(2):146-50.
3. (a) Deltete, Robert J. (2007). “Wilhelm Ostwald’s Energetics 1: Origins and Motivations” (abs), Foundations of Chemistry, 9(1):3-56.
(b) Deltete, Robert J. (2007). “Wilhelm Ostwald’s Energetics 2: Energetic Theory and Application, Part I” (abs), Foundations of Chemistry, 9(3):256-316
(c) Deltete, Robert J. (2008). “Wilhelm Ostwald’s Energetics 3: Energetic Theory and Application, Part II” (abs), Foundations of Chemistry, 10(#):187-221.
(d) Zencey, Eric. (2013). “Energy as a Master Resource” (pdf), in: State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? (§7:##-; image, figure 1-2). Island Press, 2013.
4. Stuckrad, Kocku. (2014). The Scientification of Religion: an Historical Study of Discursive Change, 1800-2000 (“Monistic Sunday Sermons”, pg. 82) (abs). Walter de Gruyter.
5. Thims, Libb. (2015). “Zerotheism for Kids”, Atheism Reviews class, 3-hour lecture (co-host Thor) (intro, 5-slide) (main, 56-slides) (vid), Monday, 11AM-2-PM, Aug 10.
6. (a) Ostwald, Wilhlem. (1909). Monastic Sunday Sermons (Sermon #4: “Religion and Science) (pgs. 30, 32). Publisher, 1911.
(b) Stuckrad, Kocku. (2014). The Scientification of Religion: an Historical Study of Discursive Change, 1800-2000 (“Monistic Sunday Sermons”, pg. 82) (abs). Walter de Gruyter.

● Re: Ostwald & Sunday church (post #38) (2014) – Beg-Thims dialogue.

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