Humanities Moments

Humanities Moments

We’ve all had “humanities moments” — when our lives were made richer, more poignant, and meaningful because of the insights the humanities provide.

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by Catherine Newell, University of Miami & The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress
Candle
Growing up in a very small town that once had the most churches per capita in the country, Catherine Newell was around many people who were believers. Moving away from her hometown, she encountered a more religiously diverse environment, opening her mind to other possibilities. During her final term in college, she stumbled into a Rabbinic Judaism class. While the texts ignited her intellect, it was the class dialogue that moved her in a profound way. Now a professor of religious studies herself, Newell reflects on how the class offered an…

by Larry Kramer, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Religious symbols
Larry Kramer, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, went to college expecting to become a doctor, but taking a course on religious ethics and moral issues shifted his direction. To him, the humanities allow us to be introspective and to understand our lives from a larger point of view, which leads to a more revealing and enriching human experience.To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other, California Humanities invited a group of 40 prominent…
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