Renovatio: The Art of Being Human

Renovatio: The Art of Being Human

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The nature of man, his difference from the animals, and his relation to the divine are topics that have preoccupied philosophers and theologians from ancient times. The Islamic tradition, like the Jewish and Christian traditions, holds that human beings are created in the metaphysical image of God. But modern society has discovered much to undermine man’s proud claim to distinctiveness through reason. 

The Spring 2018 issue of Renovatio asks what now remains that makes us distinctively human. Is it the stories we tell, our concern for an ethical life, or, even, the ensoulment of the human embryo? Read the thought-provoking articles and essays we offer from prominent scholars in the United States and abroad.

Table of Contents

The Human in the Qur’an

How four Qur’anic aspects of humanity combine to make man a distinctive creation.

Zaid Shakir

Virtue, Human, and Divine

Can the measure of human virtue be set by the character—or the names—of God?

Sophia Vasalou

Science and Theology: Where the Consonance Really Lies

If we keep in mind the limits of our methods, the deepest aspirations of the sciences and the most essential affirmations of theology are irresistibly apposite.

David Bentley Hart

Human Being: Learning to Be Human

If we let it, the modern world can alter our fitrah, or the perfection of our natural disposition. But the path to restoring harmony with our natures may be easier than we think.

Umar Faruq Abd-Allah and Hamza Yusuf

Other People’s Truths

Sacred scriptures are Great Books, but can they be read as literature in secular settings?

Eva Brann

An Ethos for All?

Why a medieval Christian theologian believed humanity, regardless of creed, could unite around a shared ethic.

Claus Dierksmeier

When Does a Human Fetus Become Human?

Scripture and science, taken together, can lead believers to rethink our understanding of when life begins, of the miracle of revelation, and most certainly of abortion.

Hamza Yusuf

The Status of Woman in America

The woman conserves those deeper moral forces which make for the happiness of homes and the righteousness of the country.

Anna Julia Cooper

The Secret of the Morality Tale

Only narratives can ensure our ethics take both intention and circumstance into account.

Cyrus Ali Zagar

Vanquishing the Monster Within Us

When we resist the dehumanizing forces of war, we can see the sacred in all human beings.

Chris Hedges

Sacred Truths in a Profane World

Can an alliance of religious believers help humanity begin to emerge from an age of skepticism?

Roger Scruton

From Savagery to Civilization

Poetry fulfills our humanity because it is the language that most makes human culture.

Scott F. Crider

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