Religious humanism

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Religious Humanism is an integration of religious rituals with humanistic philosophy that centers on human needs, interests, and abilities. The two basic approaches to Religious Humanism are from a conventional religious tradition with a humanist influence, or from a humanist viewpoint that incorporates religious ritual.


Conventional Religious Traditions

An early example of Religious Humanism can be seen in Psalm 8, from the Jewish and Christian tradition, which states:

When I look at thy heavens,
the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars which
thou has established;

What is man that thou art mindful of him,
and the son of man that thou
dost care for him?

Yet thou has made him little less than the angels
and dost crown him with glory
and honor.

In the past, humanist versions of major religions, such as Christian humanism, Jewish humanism and Islamic humanism played an important role in world history. Now, however, humanism is dominated almost exclusively by modern humanism. This has given rise to a newer version of religious humanism which is identical in philosophy to secular humanism. Secular humanists and religious humanists primarily differ in their definition of religion, but they can also diverge in practice since religious humanists endorse religious ceremonies, rituals, and rites.

Another approach, promulgated by the Liberation Fellowship, is to observe the best of human traits and elevate them to a level that theists would attribute to the divine. Thus, the human being's senses become the tools of creation and the rituals, ceremonies and rites of religion become the avenues for human expansion and growth.

A new third approach, Christian Existential Humanism, represents a return to an older style, featuring a humanist perspective grounded in genuine religious belief; where humanity is something to be celebrated, but not as a replacement for the divine.

Spiritual Humanism

As originally conceived in the early 20th century, secular humanism rejects revealed knowledge, theism-based morality and the supernatural. However, the vast majority of people hold some form of belief in the supernatural or spiritual. The Spiritual Humanism movement is a response to the percieved failure of the original humanist organizations to recruit new membership and address these spiritual needs.

See also

References and external links


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