Document Type

Contribution to Book

Source Publication

The Oxford Handbook of Humanism

Publication Date

7-2020

Editor

Anthony Pinn

Publisher

Oxford University Press

City

New York

Volume

Online Publication Date: Jul 2020

First Page

1

Last Page

39

Department

Religious Studies

Description

This chapter provides an overview of select trends, ideas, themes, and figures associated with humanism in the Americas, which comprises a diversified set of peoples, cultural traditions, religious orientations, and socio-economic groups. In acknowledging this rich tapestry of human life, the chapter emphasizes the impressive variety of developments in philosophy, the natural sciences, literature, religion, art, social science, and political thought that have contributed to the development of humanism in the Americas. The chapter also features modern usages of humanism that originated in the English-speaking world in the nineteenth century. In this context, humanism is best viewed as a contested site in which its meanings, usages, and rhetorical power reflect a wide range of ideological allegiances that include positive and negative connotations. The complex, layered processes of colonization that are a part of the history of the Americas will also inflect the varied usages and connotations of humanism.

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