Humanist Aesthetics & Practices

Course Overview

Syllabus provided upon registration.

Course Description

This course will focus on axiology, how we assign worth and ‘do’ Humanism, through an exploration of aesthetics, meaning making, and consciousness practices. Building on work from the Humanist Worldviews course, students will be invited to align Humanist values with creativity and action, leading to concrete articulated beliefs. This class will consider the phenomenological value of caretaking, social justice initiatives, ritual, and spiritual practice motivated by Humanism. Students will also be introduced to methods of spiritual assessments, and visioning. Course materials are drawn from a variety of secular and religious humanist authors and communities.  This class will also require students to consider their own positionalities, through a process of reflection & self-inventories;  determining the gifts their past experiences may bear for the Humanist movement and communities.

This course covers:

  • Introduction to Humanist Aesthetics & Practices
  • Aesthetics & Practices: Individual
  • Aesthetics & Practices: Communal
  • Sentient Beings & Ritual
  • White Supremacy, Indigenity & Appropriation
  • Authenticity & Creativity
  • Decolonizing our Minds
  • Interfaith Collaboration
  • Social Justice Initiatives
  • Digital Lives
  • Defining Sacred: Personal to Communal

Primary Course Learning Outcome

Honoring their own unique experience and gifts, students will articulate a vision of the individual and communal practice of Humanist beliefs that demonstrates the student’s understanding of the role of aesthetics and practice in crafting world-pictures and translating values to action.

Supporting Learning Outcomes

  1. Articulate the role of ritual and practice in Humanist community.
  2. Describe the potential role of digital or virtual community for Humanists and Humanism(s).
  3. Reflect on the ways in which art and aesthetics are important sources of meaning for Humanists of various identities and lived experiences.
  4. Articulate their own practices for connection and self-reflection.
  5. Describe how Humanists more broadly can engage in ritual and practice.
  6. Create and adapt rituals that align with Humanist values.