We live in a world of social, political, economic, and religious rupture. Ideologies polarise to fuel confrontation within communities, nations and regions of the world. At this point in the twenty-first century, humanism's focus on reason, ethics and justice offers the potential to rethink and re-engage in new ways. "What Is Humanism, and Why Does It Matter?" brings together leading humanist thinkers and activists to examine humanism and how it can work in the world. Humanism is often misunderstood. The movement includes both atheists and agnostics, who seek to make ethical sense of the world based on shared human values and a concern for human welfare, happiness and fulfillment. "What Is Humanism, and Why Does It Matter?" presents an overview and exploration of the meaning and nature of humanism, both as a philosophy and as a way of engaging with the challenges of the world.
Anthony B. Pinn is Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University, USA, and Director of Research for the Institute for Humanist Studies.
Introduction PART I: WHAT IS HUMANISM? 1. Humanism as Experience Howard B. Radest, South Carolina Medical Association, USA 2. Humanism as Guide to Life Meaning Anthony B. Pinn, Rice University, USA 3. Humanism as a Meaning Frame Peter Derkx, University of Humanistics, Netherlands PART II: WHY DOES HUMANISM MATTER? 4. If War Is Not the Answer: An Altermodern Approach to Political Engagement Sharon D. Welch, Meadville Lombard Theological School, USA 5. Humanist Outlaws: Thinking Religion/Living Humanism Monica R. Miller, Lewis & Clark College, USA PART III: WHAT TO DO WITH HUMANISM? 6. Beyond Kumbaya: Culturally Relevant Humanism in an Age of 'Posts' Sikivu Hutchinson 7. Humanism and the Big Problem Dale McGowan 8. Growing Humanism in a Faith Dominated Society Maggie Ardiente and Roy Speckhardt Appendices Bibliography