Contemporary American Religious Thought and Practice, Part 2 of 4: Humanism

James English, Marjorie Hyer, Martin Marty, and Harmon Smith discuss several questions: What are some of the connections and tensions between religion in America and humanism, both of the secular and Christian varieties? How should one measure the foundations of belief and the relationship between religious faith and everyday conduct in American society? They speak of the historical shift from communal to individual ideas of religion; the relationship between religion and the humanities, noting fine distinctions between definitions of humanities, secular humanism, and religion; and how humanities scholars must reconcile their religion with the principles of their academic disciplines. At [15:04], Mark Taylor joins in as the group continues its discussion of humanism, religion, and secular humanism.

At the time of this interview, English was a Jesuit priest at St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church in Raleigh, N.C. Hyer was religion editor for the Washington Post. Marty,  a trustee of the National Humanities Center, was professor of the history of modern Christianity at the University of Chicago and an editor of the Christian Century. Smith, a Fellow at the Center (1982-83), was a professor at the Duke Divinity School. Taylor, a Fellow at the Center (1982-83), was professor of religion at Williams College.

This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.


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