Re-Envisioning Christian Humanism: Education and the Restoration of Humanity

Oxford University Press
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Since the early 1980s, there has been renewed scholarly interest in the concept of Christian Humanism. A number of official Catholic documents have stressed the importance of 'Christian humanism', as a vehicle of Christian social teaching and, indeed, as a Christian philosophy of culture. Fundamentally, humanism aims to explore what it means to be human and what the grounds are for human flourishing. Featuring contributions from internationally renowned Christian authors from a variety of disciplines in the humanities, Re-Envisioning Christian Humanism recovers a Christian humanist ethos for our time. The volume offers a chronological overview (from patristic humanism to the Reformation and beyond) and individual examples (Jewell, Calvin) of past Christian humanisms. The chapters are connected through the theme of Christian paideia as the foundation for liberal arts education.
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About the author

Jens Zimmermann was born and raised in Germany. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and a PhD in Philosophy from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. He currently occupies the position of Canada Research Chair in Interpretation, Religion and Culture, and is Professor of English at Trinity Western University (TWU) in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. His publications include Hermeneutics: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2015) and Humanism and Religion: A Call for the Renewal of Western Culture (OUP, 2012).
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Oxford University Press
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Published on
Nov 24, 2016
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History / Social History
Philosophy / History & Surveys / General
Religion / Christian Theology / General
Religion / Philosophy
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Hailed as “lucid and magisterial” by The Observer, this book is universally acclaimed as the outstanding one-volume work on the subject of Western philosophy.

Considered to be one of the most important philosophical works of all time, the History of Western Philosophy is a dazzlingly unique exploration of the ideologies of significant philosophers throughout the ages—from Plato and Aristotle through to Spinoza, Kant and the twentieth century. Written by a man who changed the history of philosophy himself, this is an account that has never been rivaled since its first publication over sixty years ago.

Since its first publication in 1945, Lord Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy is still unparalleled in its comprehensiveness, its clarity, its erudition, its grace, and its wit. In seventy-six chapters he traces philosophy from the rise of Greek civilization to the emergence of logical analysis in the twentieth century.

Among the philosophers considered are: Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the Atomists, Protagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Cynics, the Sceptics, the Epicureans, the Stoics, Plotinus, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Benedict, Gregory the Great, John the Scot, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Occam, Machiavelli, Erasmus, More, Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, the Utilitarians, Marx, Bergson, James, Dewey, and lastly the philosophers with whom Lord Russell himself is most closely associated—Cantor, Frege, and Whitehead, coauthor with Russell of the monumental Principia Mathematica.
Endorsements: "This book is a careful, historical demonstration of the way in which hermeneutics was secularized yet continues to borrow on the capital of Christian theology. By exposing the problems inherent in secular hermeneutics and correcting the histories of philosophical hermeneutics on record, Zimmerman points a way forward beyond secular hermeneutics. This is a bold project that should be read not only by theologians but, more especially, by those philosophers working in the wake of Heidegger, Gadamer, Derrida, and Levinas. This book is an excellent addition to any course in philosophical hermeneutics." -- James K. A. Smith, author of The Fall of Interpretation "In Recovering Theological Hermeneutics, Zimmerman offers a compelling argument for the claim that hermeneutics must be theological if it is to be truly hermeneutical. Through a fair and careful reading of premodern and postmodern hermeneutical theorists, he shows their true kinship. Building appreciatively (though not uncritically) upon insights of Gadamer, Levinas, and Derrida, Zimmerman draws from Bonhoeffer and Balthasar to construct an incarnational hermeneutic. Zimmerman provides us with a deeply Christian view of human understanding--one that results in nether hermeneutical triumphalism nor hermeneutical despair but affirms understanding as relational, historical, and ultimately based on God's revelation." --Bruce Ellis Benson, author of Graven Ideologies: Nietzsche, Derrida, and Marion on Modern Idolatry "Recovering Theological Hermeneutics is an important contribution to hermeneutics. Zimmerman provides not only a detailed and convincing historical analysis but also an outline of theological hermeneutics that is ethical, incarnational, and thus, in the best sense of the word, truly evangelical. Far from naively idealizing a premodern point of view, Zimmerman convincingly works through modern and postmodern thought. In so doing, he shows the often-overlooked potential of the premodern Christian tradition without ignoring its difficulties and shortcomings--a challenge to both modern and postmodern theology and, indeed, philosophy." --Holder Zaborowsky, Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg About the Contributor(s): Jens Zimmermann holds a Canada Research Chair at Trinity Western University. He is coauthor of The Passionate Intellect (2006), and coeditor of Being Human, Becoming Human: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Social Thought (2010).
Contemporary conversations about religion and culture are framed by two reductive definitions of secularity. In one, multiple faiths and nonfaiths coexist free from a dominant belief in God. In the other, we deny the sacred altogether and exclude religion from rational thought and behavior. But is there a third way for those who wish to rediscover the sacred in a skeptical society? What kind of faith, if any, can be proclaimed after the ravages of the Holocaust and the many religion-based terrors since? Richard Kearney explores these questions with a host of philosophers known for their inclusive, forward-thinking work on the intersection of secularism, politics, and religion. An interreligious dialogue that refuses to paper over religious difference, these conversations locate the sacred within secular society and affirm a positive role for religion in human reflection and action. Drawing on his own philosophical formulations, literary analysis, and personal interreligious experiences, Kearney develops through these engagements a basic gesture of hospitality for approaching the question of God. His work facilitates a fresh encounter with our best-known voices in continental philosophy and their views on issues of importance to all spiritually minded individuals and skeptics: how to reconcile God’s goodness with human evil, how to believe in both God and natural science, how to talk about God without indulging in fundamentalist rhetoric, and how to balance God’s sovereignty with God’s love.
Politics and the Religious Imagination is the product of a group of interdisciplinary scholars each analyzing the connections between religious narratives and the construction of regional and global politics, combining a set of theoretical and philosophic insights with several case studies that represent varied geographies and religious customs.

The past decade has seen increasing interest in the links between religion and politics, and this edited volume seeks to take religion seriously as a motivator of action. Few studies have attempted to bring together the multi-disciplinary work in this burgeoning field of study and this work takes a global perspective, using a variety of contexts including East-West relations to analyze the following key themes:

the constructive and destructive hermeneutics of religious stories

the relevance and importance of religion as a dominant political narrative

the rise of new stories among groups as agents of change

the way that religious narratives help to define and constrain the Other

the manipulation of religious stories for political benefit

This work argues that it is insufficient to judge the relationship of religion and politics through mere institutional or quantitative lenses, and this collection proves that while this promise of the narrative part of the social imaginary has been recognized in political theory to a certain extent, its influence in the realm of empirical political science has yet to be fully considered.

Combining the work of a wide range of experts, this collection will be of great interests to scholars of politics, philosophy, religious studies, and the literary influence of religion.

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