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Introduction: “And That’s Why No One Takes the Humanities Seriously”

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Chapter Summary

Scholarly journals in, say, molecular biology or radiological oncology - fields that study aspects of the human in no less technical and specialize ways as the academic study of religion - don't open their issues by establishing an aesthetic tone for their readers. Journals in these fields are therefore seen as technical places where specialized research is disseminated to a relatively small group of equally specialized readers. Many in the Humanities would likely agree with those scholars of religion the author has critiqued, claiming that the disciplines collected together into the Humanities are not an ad hoc grouping but, instead, all share in nurturing expressions of something non-empirical called the enduring Human Spirit. The Humanities ensure that our students become players, whatever way they choose to play the game. The trick is in slowly persuading students that their expertise is itself the thing that should attract their attention.

Keywords: humanities; molecular biology; radiological oncology; religion; scholarly journals



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