The Humanities by Any Other Name

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  • David Evans

    According to wikipedia, the humanities are academic disciplines that study human culture. That’s how I’ve always understood the term. Going to the movies is consuming culture, not studying it.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/ James F. McGrath

      That’s a fair point. But I think the quote was trying to address the fact that many people are unclear on what it is that the humanities study, and assume it is something obscure or antiquated. And so the point, as I took it, is that the humanities study the things that real people really enjoy.

      • Michael Wilson

        And when I go to the movies, I’m also studying them. Speaking of the movies, James, I know your going to have a lot to say about “Man of Steel” when you see it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/ James F. McGrath

          It may be that I really didn’t make a distinction in my mind between watching movies and studying them!

          I am looking forward to seeing Man of Steel. Whether I will have anything to say that lots of people haven’t already said remains to be seen.

      • arcseconds

        and, in fact, makes them more directly relevant to most people than science is.

        (part of the image problem humanities have is that they’re also perceived as being irrelevant. )

        ((i know, i know, science is wot makes your nerd phone work. but people in general are far more interested in movies and music than they are in the intricate details of their cellphone))

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/ James F. McGrath

          Actually, perhaps now that people watch movies and read books on those phones, it will bring the humanities and sciences closer together… :-)