The Humane Imperative


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A Challenge for the Year 2000

Theodore M. Hesburgh

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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. 

Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., is president of Notre Dame University and a member of numerous boards and committees. He is a former chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, on which he served from its inception until 1972 (when he was discharged by President Nixon), and is currently chairman of the Academic Council of the Ecumenical Institute for Advanced Theological Studies in Jerusalem and the Overseas Development Council. A holder of more than forty honorary degrees, he is an outstanding leader in the struggle for human rights and world peace.

"At a time of lowered expectations, it is good that there are voices of hope, seasoned by experience, still capable of believing that we can fashion a better world. When that belief is vindicated by history and sustained by faith, it helps to strengthen and reinvigorate us all." - From the preface by Kingman Brewster, Jr.

"Father Hesburgh's contribution to the continuing and unfinished effort to make the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights a living reality for all Americans is so widely appreciated that it needs no embellishment. This ideal of equality has been kept alive, and its achievement is still a realistic hope, in considerable part because of Father Hesburgh's strenuous, stalwart championship of the cause of human dignity and quality." - From the preface by Kingman Brewster, Jr.
ISBN: 9780300135794
Publication Date: September 10, 1974
127 pages, 5 x 8
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