Gustav Spiller

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Gustav Spiller (1864 - February 1940) was a Hungarian-born ethical and sociological writer who was active in Ethical Societies in the United Kingdom. He helped to organize the First Universal Races Congress in 1911.


Born in Budapest to a Jewish family, Gustav Spiller came to London in 1885 and gained work as a compositor. Influenced by Stanton Coit, until 1901 he worked as a printer work for the Bank of England for six months every year, using the rest of his time for self-education. In 1901 he became a lecturer for the Ethical movement, and in 1904 the salaried secretary of the International Union of Ethical Societies.[1]

Spiller and Felix Adler organized the International Moral Education Congress, held at the University of London in September 1908. There Spiller promoted the idea of a Universal Races Congress, which took place in London in 1911 with financial support from John E. Milholland.[2]

By 1920 Spiller had joined the Labour Office of the League of Nations in Geneva.[3]


  • The mind of man; a text-book of psychology, London, S. Sonnenschein & Co., 1902
  • Faith in Man: the religion of the twentieth century, 1908
  • Report on moral instruction (general & denominational) and on moral training in the schools of Austria, Belgium, the British Empire, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, & the United States, 1909
  • Hymns of Love and Duty for the Young, 1910
  • (ed.), Papers on inter-racial problems, communicated to the first Universal Races Congress, held at the University of London, July 26–29, 1911, London: P. S. King, 1911.
  • The training of the child; a parent's manual, London: Jack; New York: Dodge Pub. Co., 1912
  • The meaning of marriage: a manual for parents, teachers, young people (over 18), and husbands and wives; also for spinsters and bachelors, widows and widowers, 1914
  • A new system of scientific procedure; being an attempt to ascertain, develop, and systematise the general methods employed in modern enquiries at their best, London: Watts & Co., 1921
  • The ethical movement in Great Britain: a documentary history, 1934
  • The origin and nature of man; an enquiry into fundamentals, reconciling man's proud achievements with man's humble descent, London: Williams & Norgate Ltd., 1935


  1. ^ Ian Duncan MacKillop (1986). The British Ethical Societies. Cambridge University Press. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-521-26672-7. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Ralph E. Luker (1991). Social Gospel in Black and White: American Racial Reform, 1885-1912. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 312. ISBN 978-0-8078-4720-6. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  3. ^ The Humanist: An Organ of the Ethical Movement, 1920, p.71