Understanding Humanism

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          Humanism, as a theological tradition, has its origins in the European Enlightenment. At first early writers combined elements of Christian Theology with the loose ends of much earlier theologies, particularly ancient Greece and Rome. This came alongside rapid technological and material advancement and emphasis on Human Reason, combining into the central tenet of Humanist Theology: Humanity itself is divine. 

          It spread alongside the European powers as one of the theological traditions that informed the imperialism and colonialism of the time. However, different ideas in the same Humanist tradition also spread through lines of trade and communication set up by the same European Imperial powers inspiring a wave of revolutions across the globe. This highlights the diversity of thought contained within this tradition. Various socio-theological systems can be built from the idea of humanity being divine. Liberalism is a constant strand of thought in the Humanist tradition, but the way it is interpreted is always subject to change and reinterpretation. 

            With the dismantling of the European Empires after the end of the Second World War all parts of the world seemed to adopt, at least on the surface, Humanism as a guiding principle. Nations became the dominant system on the planet, often drawing on Humanism alongside other theological traditions to give them shape. Since this time the largest theological debates have been internal to humanism. Communism and Capitalism; Nationalism and Globalism.

          With the following pages we hope you will come to know and understand the basis for Humanist beliefs, teachings, and practices, and also be able to reference relevant sources of wisdom and authority. Ultimately ending up with a good grasp of common and divergent views within Humanism in the way beliefs and teachings are understood and expressed.

Beliefs and Teachings

Sources of Wisdom and Authority

Practices and Expressions

The Humanist Tradition Through History