edited by J. Michelle Molina and Donald K. Swearer
contributions by Arthur Kleinman, Veena Das, Michael J. Puett, Lila Abu-Lughod and Charles Hallisey
Harvard University Press, 2010
Paper: 978-0-945454-44-1
Library of Congress Classification BJ1533.H9R48 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 170


In our globalized world, differing conceptions of human nature and human values raise questions as to whether universal and partisan claims and perspectives can be reconciled, whether interreligious and intercultural conversations can help build human community, and whether a pluralistic ethos can transcend uncompromising notions as to what is true, good, and just.

In this volume, world-class scholars from religious studies, the humanities, and the social sciences explore what it means to be human through a multiplicity of lives in time and place as different as fourth-century BCE China and the world of an Alzheimer’s patient today. Refusing the binary, these essays go beyond description to theories of aging and acceptance, ethics in caregiving, and the role of ritual in healing the inevitable divide between the human and the ideal.

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