Mortal Seity To Divine Aseity: Or, Union In A Life Of Communion, To Become As God, Not To Become God

What is truly meant by Christian Humanitas as Incarnational Humanism?
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As a skeleton for some of the previous focus on the term Christian Humanism comes the idea of “Incarnational Humanism” too (Gibson, 2011),[1] most formally identified humanists come as atheists or agnostics (Humanists International, n.d.).[2] In most personal experience, this means 90% or more of them. 

In fact, in one national group’s internal member survey, this showed in the demographics of the membership. Often, there can be an accidental – sometimes, a deliberate – repurposing of the term “Humanism” to me capital “A-” forms of “Atheism,” as some capitalized abstract intended as a synonym with Humanism (American Humanist Association, n.d.). 

This seems like the implied equivalent arguments: If Atheism, then Humanism; Atheism; therefore, Humanism. If Humanism, then Atheism; Humanism; therefore, Atheism. Neither of these makes sense to me, especially statistically based on known demographics internal to the humanist communities, not even in this hemisphere. 

Any synonymizing of the terms becomes invalid, and, indeed, unsound. Even simply as an empirical matter, the evidence doesn’t stack with the claims. Of the 10% of humanists, or less, who do not identify with atheism or agnosticism in a formal sense, as a declarative statement of personal identity, “I am an atheist,” or, “I am an agnostic.” 

Far more terms extant, however, I want to leave those to further exploration at a later time in the discussion. For those who wish for something akin to a religious humanist outlook, then we live in Canadian society with the freedom of belief and freedom of religion (Charter of Rights and Freedoms[3]), bound within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[4] with the similar or the same stipulations, these could provide a path for individuals with a sensibility towards the existentialist, against the zetetic[5] or extreme skeptic, away from fundamentalist traditional dogmas and doctrines and hierarchies, and towards the ‘spiritual’ inasmuch as this can be defined in more precise terms apart from New Age (Melton, 2016) co-opting of the term, which has been termed “newage”[6] to rhyme with “sewage” before. 

Now, when it comes to the two terms, “Incarnational” and “Humanism,” comprising the idea “Incarnational Humanism,” this will have some overlap with some of the above, while not linked in a direct manner to the formal institutional Humanism seen today with the various organizations bearing the cattle-like branding. 

Perhaps, this can give the first portions of it. The pre-Christian or the pagan[7] sense of the terms of incarnation(al) and humanism. These can have specific meanings too. There is a sense of pre-Christian as a neutral term if meaning pagan, so Christian Humanism was meant as a sort of post-Pagan Humanism. 

In a similar manner, there is the idea of the declining Christian West and an inclining secular West. Both relate to these ideas of a pagan revival in a sense coinciding or xo-extant with the decline of the Christian religion. 

Some speak to becoming more human, as in “fully human” in terms of Incarnational Humanism.[8] If we work within this framework of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave[9] and Christianity, then the idea of becoming, of being in transition, of working towards, etc., seem like apt phrasings. 

One identifies the ideal who became “fully human” in Christ as recounted in the Gospels with God, the Creator, and Sustainer of all things, with the ‘descent’ of God into human form. 

Then this makes the central targeted objective in the totality of one’s being, one’s life, to become more like Christ, to be in the transition towards a more Christ-like state, or to be working towards an existence more akin to Jesus – the only fully human being. 

We’re all partially human in contrast to this metric and in flux, either moving closer to or farther away from the example of Jesus. To the Allegory of the Cave, we became more Christ-like by being unshackled shaken, and turned to the light of Christ’s truth of the teaching, life, and personhood. 

In this sense, Christian Humanism or Incarnational Humanism is a different formulation of the idea of Christianity as a manner in which to actualize one’s true nature in alignment with the divine nature of God. 

One is not God; one is as God, moment-by-moment. 

References

[Trinity Western University]. (2014). What is a liberal arts education? - Calvin Townsend, MCS. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/93433427.

American Humanist Association. (n.d.). Humanist Common Ground: Atheism. Retrieved from https://americanhumanist.org/paths/atheism/.

Buttrey, M. (2013, Fall). Incarnational Humanism: A Philosophy of Culture for the Church in the World. Retrieved from https://uwaterloo.ca/grebel/publications/conrad-grebel-review/issues/fall-2013/incarnational-humanism-philosophy-culture-church-world.

Cohen, S.M. (2005, July 24). The Allegory of the Cave. Retrieved from https://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/cave.htm.

Government of Canada. (1982). Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Retrieved from https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html.

Humanists International. (n.d.). What is humanism?. Retrieved from https://humanists.international/what-is-humanism/.

Gibson, D. (2011, December 29). The doctrine of the Incarnation. Retrieved from https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/doctrine-incarnation.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017, February 15). An Interview with James Randi (Part Three). Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/2017/02/15/an-interview-with-james-randi-part-three/.

Melton, J. G. (2016, April 7). New Age movement. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/New-Age-movement.

RationalWiki. (2020, March 1). Zetetic. Retrieved from https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Zetetic.

United Nations. (1948, December 10). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/. 

[1] The terminology seems most directly considered and laid out via DDr. Jens Zimmermann. Zimmermann explores some of the contextualizations of Humanism within the context of Incarnational Humanism as a philosophy of culture, i.e., a Christian humanistic philosophy of culture or “a spirited defense of classical Christian theology as the best ground for a humanist philosophy of culture.” Duly note, this philosophy comes as a minority orientation within the humanistic orientation because the vast majority of humanist organizations harbor atheists or agnostics, not Christians. Thusly, one frame, among many, could see Incarnational Humanism as a Christian humanist philosophy of culture, Christian Humanism, or as an individuated development of Religious Humanism in general. See Buttrey (2013).

[2] “What is Humanism?” states:

Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance that affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. Humanism stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. Humanism is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.

Humanists International. (n.d.). What is humanism?. Retrieved from https://humanists.international/what-is-humanism/.

[3] The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms remains part of the Constitution of Canada, while a recent construction under the Rt. Hon. Pierre Trudeau circa 1982. Its fundamental stipulations on religion and belief in Article 2 state:

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

(d) freedom of association.

Government of Canada. (1982). Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Retrieved from https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html.

[4] Akin to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from December 10, 1948, in Article 18 states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance.

United Nations. (1948, December 10). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/.

[5] See RationalWiki (2020).

[6] See Jacobsen (2017).

[7] “Pagan” means “pre-Christian” in this context rather than co-existent non-Christian. Pagan, in this sense, means before the era of the formal Christian religion seen within the Roman Empire.

[8] See Trinity Western University (2014).

[9] See Cohen, S.M. (2005, July 24). The Allegory of the Cave. Retrieved from https://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/cave.htm.

Founder of In-Sight Publishing and Editor-in-Chief of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. He is an Independent Journalist and Researcher. Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and the advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere. 

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