The western humanist tradition

van Hooft, Stan 2012, The western humanist tradition. In Cobb, Mark R., Puchalski, Christine and Rumbold, Bruce (ed), Oxford textbook of spirituality in healthcare, Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, pp.43-48.

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads

Title The western humanist tradition
Author(s) van Hooft, Stan
Title of book Oxford textbook of spirituality in healthcare
Editor(s) Cobb, Mark R.
Puchalski, Christine
Rumbold, Bruce
Publication date 2012
Chapter number 7
Total chapters 63
Start page 43
End page 48
Total pages 6
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of Publication Oxford, England
Keyword(s) Spirituality
Summary In this essay, I describe the development of at least three traditions of humanism: the Platonic, the Aristotelian, and the Promethean. These traditions have developed and intermingled so as to produce the complex and multifaceted face of humanism today. The first, Platonic tradition involves a turning away from the world in order to find wisdom and spirituality in a metaphysical realm. The Aristotelian tradition stresses the need to be at home in the world and happy in life even as we contemplate their unchangeable realities. It speaks of the perfectibility of human beings in muted tones and shows a reverence for the changeable world, as well as for the fragile, vulnerable, fallible, and mortal condition of being human. However, it is the Promethean tradition, with its celebration of science, progress, and technology, that has had the greatest effect upon modern civilization and spirituality. The culmination of these various streams of thought was the Enlightenment: a movement that its greatest philosopher, Immanuel Kant, interpreted as giving humanity permission, for the first time, to think for itself. But the Enlightenment leads to a disenchanted world in which spirituality seems to have no place. I argue that my subjectivity is a transcendent reality and that our very subjectivity becomes a real self and a social being insofar as it is drawn towards the Other. Accordingly, a humanist spirituality is possible in the form of reverence, love, and humility in the presence of transcendence. While religions give the names of their gods to this transcendence, humanism gives it other names: Subjectivity, the Other, Beauty, Goodness, and Truth.
ISBN 9780199571390
Language eng
Field of Research 220101 Bioethics (human and animal)
Socio Economic Objective 920205 Health Education and Promotion
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
ERA Research output type B Book chapter
HERDC collection year 2012
Copyright notice ©2012, Oxford University Press
Persistent URL

Connect to link resolver
Unless expressly stated otherwise, the copyright for items in DRO is owned by the author, with all rights reserved.

Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in TR Web of Science
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Access Statistics: 440 Abstract Views, 3 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Fri, 14 Sep 2012, 11:41:34 EST by Stan Van Hooft

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact