The Humane Imperative (Hardcover)
A Challenge for the Year 2000 (The Terry Lectures Series)
Yale University Press, 9780300135794, 127pp.
Publication Date: September 10, 1974
What we read in the newspapers each day and what we consider to be world trends in the last decade do not leave much room for enthusiasm or hopefulness. It is easy for Americans—idealists and realists alike—to fall into despairing attitudes of cynicism, hopelessness, and laissez-faire. Father Hesburgh is a living antidote to this failure of spirit, through the work of his own busy and effective life—one devoted to improving the conditions under which we all live. In this book he offers an agenda of hope and maps out the areas in which belief and action might unite and bring about a better world.
Beginning with an apologia for the active life in the Catholic faith, Father Hesburgh moves on to matters of world religion, stating a strong case for world ecumenism. He faces the promises and challenges of bringing human dignity and civil rights from formula to actuality and shows that a humane life in the next millennium requires solutions to problems of population growth, food, overcrowding, and world education. He then sketches a new world alignment which would place the great powers in cooperation with each other and would make them recognize the importance of the underdeveloped half of the planet—the southern hemisphere.
The book ends with a ringing exhortation to world citizenship. Father Hesburgh has the broadest possible vision of what it is to be a person in this world, and what is required of all toe create in the new century a unified life for each person and a truly united world. Everyone who reads this book will come away with a deepened and humanized perspective on life today and in the future.