Rethinking the Human

Overview


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 ...
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Overview


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 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.
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Editorial Reviews

Michael D. Jackson
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.
Robert R. Desjarlais
This remarkable set of essays encourages students of philosophy, anthropology, ethics, and religion to reconsider their understanding of human engagements in the world. Skirting both pat humanisms and fervid announcements of the post-human, the authors show how situations of aging, loss, ritual, caretaking, shared everyday life, and scholarly inquiry can produce moments of arresting insight or connection, in which people come to rethink what it means to be human in their own lives and the lives of others.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780945454441
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Series: Studies in World Religions Series
  • Pages: 138
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald K. Swearer is Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School, and Professor Emeritus of Religion, Swarthmore College.

Michael J. Puett is Professor of Chinese History at Harvard University.

Lila Abu-Lughod is the Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University, where she teaches anthropology and women's studies.

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