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.
Virtue, Human, and Divine
Can the measure of human virtue be set by the character—or the names—of God?
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