Further Reflections are instructor-led, multi-session virtual courses held on Zoom for small discussion groups.
Register $75.00 for this 3-part series running September 12, 18 & 26: 7:00-8:30 pm ET
Is humanism a Western idea? Or does humanism reflect the hopes and thinking of people around the world? This question has become more urgent for American humanists as our world as we seek dialogue and allies in a more connected world.
This course will discuss the emergence of humanistic thinking around the world. We will discuss and compare humanist developments in Europe and the Near East with those in East and South Asia, Africa, and the Americas – pre-dating European influence. We will discuss first the cultural origins of Western humanism. Then we will discuss humanist developments in Asia: how the Buddhist teaching reflects the debates of representative councils in early Himalayan societies; how Confucius taught that education and diligence, rather than noble birth, equipped a person to govern. We will consider non-Eurasian societies: the Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace reflected a dialectical approach to resolving conflict – and was one inspiration for the US Constitution.
We will discuss how we, who have inherited the Western humanist tradition, can learn from these other humanist traditions and integrate them with modern science to develop a richer global humanism.
Dr. Mark Reimers is a quantitative neuroscientist at Michigan State University, whose research aims to elucidate how dynamic brain activities give rise to thoughts and feelings in people and animals. Dr. Reimers has worked at the US National Institutes of Health, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics and at Michigan State University. His broader aim is to ground our understanding of feeling and thought in the facts of biology.
Dr. Reimers was the leader of the Richmond Humanists in Virginia for five years, and now leads the UU Forum in Lansing, and speaks frequently at humanist and science outreach events in Michigan.