Wonder, Silence, and Human Flourishing: Toward a Rehumanization of Health, Education, and Welfare approaches humanization and the process of re-enchantment in a radical new way. For more than a decade the call for rehumanization in education, care and welfare has been heard and discussed primarily in critical thinking, political theory, and sociological discourses. This critique is mainly based on a social constructivist and naturalistic worldview that keeps the discussion in an anthropocentric perspective. By focusing on the phenomenology and ethics of wonder as an ontological and even spiritual event, and by listening to the silence that follows this contemplative wonder, the contributors offer an existential, phenomenological, and hermeneutic way of understanding humanization.
Edited by Finn Thorbjørn Hansen, Solveig Eide Botnen, and Carlo Leget, the book shows, from various perspectives, that the force of wonder and the silence that follows from it can nurture our ability to be receptive to and present in human relations and in resonance with the meaning-giving life phenomena that surround us.
Finn Thorbjørn Hansen is professor in applied philosophy at the University of Aalborg.
Carlo Leget is professor of care ethics at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Solveig Botnen Eide is professor of ethics in social work at the University of Oslo.
Introduction (Finn Thorbjørn Hansen, Solveig Botnen Eide & Carlo Leget)
Chapter 1: Apophatic and Existential Wonder as a Humanizing Force (Finn Thorbjørn Hansen)
Chapter 2: Inner Space, Resonance, and Wonder (Carlo Leget)
Chapter 3: The Case and Its Moral Requirements (Solveig Botnen Eide)
Chapter 4: Perspectives on The Wonders of Sovereign Life Utterances and Care Ethics (Åshild Slettebø)
Chapter 5: Your Thoughts Don’t Have Words Everyday (Merel Visse)
Chapter 6: A Silent and Vibrant Place for Human Flourishing (Sine Maria Herholdt-Lomholdt)
Chapter 7: To Wonder About Something and To Be in Wonder (Aslaug Kristiansen)
Chapter 8: Listening to the Silence of Wonder and Reconquering Spaces for Human Flourishing (Claudia Welz)
Chapter 9: Truth-telling in the Care of the Self (Randi Edland Kroken)
Chapter 10: From Theoretical Reflections to Humanizing Practices: A Postscript (Carlo Leget & Finn Thorbjørn Hansen)
This is a wonderful collection of essays that brings philosophical texts and, not least, philosophical ways of thinking into fruitful dialogue with experiences of professional practice. Through its emphasis on issues such as wonder, calling, silence, and particularity, it moves beyond a simple eschewal of the tyranny of the logic of measurement, and calls for a renewed attentiveness to the quiet spaces and encounters in which the world and others more genuinely address us.
With equal measures of poetic thinking and critical scholarship, this volume truly rehumanizes and revitalizes the realms of health, education and welfare and show why they are not only important social and cultural pillars in our societies – but how they form a deeper ground for human belonging, wonder, and love.
This book is an important contribution to the expanding humaniora-related publications that represent a counter-voice, not to mention a counter-eye, -heart, and -hand in the human practices. The existential practice of wondering about something is a precondition for openness to the world and to others. The practice of wondering adds the quality of passivity, deceleration and, hopefully, thoughtfulness to our breathless work-life and our perceived lack of time for human relationships. The authors urge the reader to “open oneself up to the ethical and ontological dimension in human life and professions through a radical wonder-based and ‘not-knowing’ attitude and the ‘apophatic’ research virtues.” This book represents a grand but highly appreciated vision in today’s standardized, functionalist-oriented, and overly rational world.
This distinctive and engaging book is true to the phenomenologist Jan Patocka’s vision of philosophy as care of the soul. The editors have brought together researchers who have a first-hand knowledge of the life-giving possibilities of approaching ordinary and professional life in a mode of openness and wonder. These possibilities are explored through consideration of a vast range of thinkers, from Buber, Wittgenstein, and Marcel to Løgstrup and Gadamer. What makes this volume especially valuable is that the contributors are immersed in education, literature, and nursing and bring experiences of wonder and stillness to the forefront of their dialogue with these philosophers. Readers will be moved by vivid accounts of the experience of being overtaken by wonder. Further, they will come away with an appreciation of the humanizing power of philosophy as a practice that both confronts the estrangement of our times and shows this estrangement is interrupted through spiritual connection with other people and nature.