Tradition, the Beautiful, and the Uncertainties of Global Humanism

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Virgil Nemoianu

(Catholic University of America)

"Tradition, the Beautiful, and the Uncertainties of Global Humanism"


Paper presented at:

Intercultural Humanism: Challenges, Experiences, Visions, Strategies

10-11 September 2010, Christ Church College, Oxford


Convened by The Berendel Foundation in association with the Modern European History Research Centre, University of Oxford


Abstract: The present paper will begin with two relatively short introductions, the first of which will define how I understand modernity/modernization, while the other will explain how I define here ‘humanism’. The body of the presentation will be devoted to the advantages and disadvantages of modernity as seen at the present moment, along with the different options (including my own) for building a global, planetary, or unified/multicultural humanism. My similarly short, ambiguous, and rather pessimistic conclusions will contain more question marks than firm answers.

Short Bio: Virgil Nemoianu is William J. Byron Distinguished Professor of Literature and Ordinary Professor of Philosophy at Catholic University of America, where he has taught since 1979. He has also taught at the Universities of Bucharest, California (Berkeley), Cincinnati, London, Cambridge, and Amsterdam. He has held leading positions in the International Comparative Literature Association, the Modern Language Association and the Association of Literary Critics and Scholars; and is a member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences in Vienna. The most recent book is Post modernism and Cultural Identities: Conflicts and Coexistence (CUA Press, 2010).



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