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Rethinking the Human

Rethinking the Human

Edited by J. Michelle Molina and Donald K. Swearer

ISBN 9780945454441

Publication date: 09/01/2010

In our globalized world, differing conceptions of human nature and human values raise questions as to whether universal and partisan claims and perspectives can be reconciled, whether interreligious and intercultural conversations can help build human community, and whether a pluralistic ethos can transcend uncompromising notions as to what is true, good, and just.

In this volume, world-class scholars from religious studies, the humanities, and the social sciences explore what it means to be human through a multiplicity of lives in time and place as different as fourth-century BCE China and the world of an Alzheimer’s patient today. Refusing the binary, these essays go beyond description to theories of aging and acceptance, ethics in caregiving, and the role of ritual in healing the inevitable divide between the human and the ideal.

Praise

  • Rather than affirm conceptions of the human, grounded in culture, biology or history, these writers move us to consider particular human beings in quotidian situations, struggling against defeat, caring for loved ones, resisting chaos, increasing their hold on life, while aware of the limits of what it is possible to know, do, say or lay claim to. As such, Rethinking the Human attests as much to the humanity of these scholars as it opens up new horizons for understanding the impasses and quandaries that characterize the human condition.

    —Michael D. Jackson, Harvard Divinity School

Authors

  • J. Michelle Molina is Assistant Professor of Catholic Studies at Northwestern University.
  • Donald K. Swearer is Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Harvard Divinity School’s Center for the Study of World Religions and Professor of Religion, Emeritus, at Swarthmore College.

Book Details

  • 138 pages
  • 0-5/16 x 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Center for the Study of World Religions

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