Towards a New Humanism

Prof. Khalifa Chater
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The development of Humanism, this body of concepts and values which palaces MAN at the center of human concern and thinking, is traditionally linked with the Renaissance movement in Europe. The widening of the geographical and cultural horizons and the spread of critical and revisionist readings of the fundamental texts thanks to the development of the print press in Europe created the appropriate circumstances for liberating human thinking from the fetters of “localized” and dominant patterns of thinking and governance and giving it true Human dimensions. This paper retraces the history of humanistic thinking in the western world and links it to Hindu, Persian, and Arab humanistic heritage. It argues that the present international circumstances of globalization, unfair military, political, and cultural power relations, and divisive discourse, in addition to the rapid spread of information thanks to the developments in information technologies, present the appropriate conditions for reviving humanistic thinking and replacing human solidarity at the center of MAN’s interests and actions.

Keywords: Humanism, Western Renaissance, Arab Renaissance, Human Solidarity, “Idealtypus”, Identity and Change, End of History, Clash of Civilizations, Globalization
Stream: Knowledge, Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness, History, Historiography, Political Science, Politics, Globalisation
Presentation Type: Keynote Presentation in English
Paper: Towards a New Humanism

Prof. Khalifa Chater

Professor Emeritus of Contemporary History, Faculte des Sciences Humaines de Tunis, Université de Tunis
Tunis, Tunisia

Professor Khalifa Chater received his Ph.D. (Doctorat d'Etat es-Lettres) in 1981 from the French university of Paris-Sorbonne IV. He has been lecturing on contemporary history in general and the contemporary history of Tunisia in particular since October 1972 at the College of Human Sciences of the University of Tunis. In 1996, he was appointed Docteur Honoris causa at the “Université de Montpellier -Paul Valéry” (France), and in 1997 received the Tunisian National Prize in Arts and Humanities. He is co-founder and vice-president of the “Association des Etudes Internationales” (International Studies Association and was also appointed Director of the International Cultural Center of Hammamet and was the Director of the National Library and Archives in Tunisia. Prof. Chater has researched and written extensively in French on contemporary history of Tunisia. He is the author of two books (1984 and 1987) in French on social and political unrest in 19th century Tunisia. In addition to contemporary history, Professor Chater’s research and academic interests include international relations, the Arab world, and globalization, on which he has written and lectured extensively locally and internationally. He has also produced and presented a weekly radio show and is an unconditional cinema fan.

Ref: H06P0618