On Human Nature

The Jerusalem Center Symposium

Book Notice

On Human Nature: The Jerusalem Center Symposium, edited by Truman G. Madsen, David Noel Freedman, and Pam Fox Kuhlken (Pryor Pettengill, 2004)

This modestly packaged book delivers a royal banquet of human understanding. In 1993 the BYU Jerusalem Center hosted a conference on human nature. Speakers from major religious traditions around the world were invited to address the question “In the approaches to human nature throughout world faiths, is there any common ground?” Very engaging answers then were offered by nine prominent articulators of views found in Asian religions, the Hebrew Bible and Jewish rabbinics, as well as among the Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and Latter-day Saints.

Each essay is quite distinctive, not only in content but also in approach. Altogether, the topic of human nature is approached theologically, ontologically, psychologically, metaphysically, historically, literarily, and ethically. Thematic areas encompass the transcendental substantive self, innate inclinations toward goodness or depravity, detachment or connectedness, the creation of humanity, the concept of the human family, individuality, freedom, power, hope, love, and eternal potentials.

Anyone interested in comparative religions, interfaith dialogue, missionary work, or the philosophy of religion will find these one hundred pages filled with insight. Anyone focusing on the Golden Rule, on being created in the image of God, or on the joys and challenges of the human condition around the world will see human nature more clearly in light of these enduring perspectives.


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Print ISSN: 2837-0031
Online ISSN: 2837-004X