There is currently much confusion about the nature of humanism and a good deal of interest in its point of view. As the object of attack and suspicion by fundamentalists, conservatives, and traditional religionists, Howard B. Radest believes that humanism deserves a clear and responsible treatment. He accomplishes this in this book by clarifying the nature of humanism in historical and current thought. The Enlightenment, Radest states, gave birth to a number of humanist values that are still being worked out in today's societies. He reconstructs how humanist values have been considered dangerous by those who fear a change in the status quo. Humanism, Radest maintains, is the true descendant of the age of reason and freedom. In this unique volume, humanism is viewed as being misunderstood by both traditionalists and the humanists themselves. Radest does not wish to disparage traditional beliefs, but he emphasizes that humanism is a legitimate philosophical, ideological, and religious alternative--a party to the current struggle for a postmodern life philosophy.
The Devil and Secular Humanism examines humanism in a more comprehensive way than most current literature, and it includes an assessment of the prospects for humanism in the years ahead. It will be of great use to a literate, but nontechnical, audience who are engaged in philosophy, religion, law, and politics.
HOWARD B. RADEST is Director of the Ethical Culture Fieldston Schools in New York City. He is also Dean of The Humanist Institute and the founder and chairman of Columbia University's Seminar on Moral Education. He is the author of Can We Teach Ethics? (Praeger, 1989).
Preface First Person Singular: From Philosophy to Biography The Devil and Secular Humanism: The Fundamentalist Temptation Religions of Humanity: Rationalism, Free Thought, and Ethical Culture Humanism Against Itself: The Religious Debate Illusions of Spirituality: The Sentimental Temptation Doing Good: The Liberal Temptation The Humanist at Home: Naturalism Revisited A Humanist's Companions: Democracy Reconstructed Humanist's Journey: Without Endings Selected Bibliography Index