National Contours for Moral Education: United States

Moral Contours

General

Economy

Education

Health

Human Rights

Military Strength + Weapons Exports

Religion

Sustainable Development

Historical figures

ADDAMS, Jane
1860 - 1936
United States
PHILOSOPHY

Lifelong campaigner for women’s interests, education and social care provision. Inspired by writings of Charles Dickens and Tolstoy, as also by seeing the work of Toynbee Hall in London’s East End, she set about creating Hull-House - an equivalent educational facility and support agency for immigrant settlers in Chicago. From 1889 for over 40 years this was a continuing claim on her energies. Her leadership capacities in the cause of women’s political rights were recognised in her becoming Chair of the International Congress of Women. Though to do so was politically contentious she also campaigned against any national involvement in World War 1. She wrote extensively in defence of practical social action.

Life

Writings

Video

The Life and Work of Jane Addams (6 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw4GZeABlNI

ALINSKY, Saul
1909 - 72
United States
POLITICS

Morally inspired radical community organiser who developed experience-based strategies for future application. These involved working in situations of high ethnic diversity. He directly addressed the moral challenge of means v ends as encountered in local political contexts.

Life and writings

http://infed.org/mobi/saul-alinsky-community-organizing-and-rules-for-radicals

Video

'I'd organize hell' - Alinsky TV interview (25 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfAyNrEsqic

ALLPORT, Gordon
1897 - 1967
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Pioneer of an approach to individual psychology which focusses on the importance of motives in actions and behaviour, in contrast to the alternative emphasising of underlying conditioning factors. The individual is in the process of becoming. His research on prejudice and on religion is of particular importance for moral education; it includes the distinction between 'intrinsic' and 'extrinsic' versions of both religion and ethics.

Life

http://www.goodtherapy.org/famous-psychologists/gordon-allport.html

http://psychology.about.com/od/profilesal/p/gordon-allport.htm

http://www.psych.westminster.edu/psy311/allport/ppframe.htm

Writings

Functional Autonomy of Motives http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Allport/autonomy.htm

Video

Gordon Allport talks about Freud  (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPQhZPr88-c

 

 

ARENDT, Hannah
1906-75
Germany + United States
PHILOSOPHY

 

A philosopher and social activist. Although her Jewish family background was secular, this provided no exemption from Nazi hostility, both in Germany and in exile in France, hence her escape to the USA. During and in the years immediately following the Second World War, she worked intensively with Jewish young people to achieve re-settlement, especially in Israel and America. Her personal experience of the crushing effect of power informed her scrutiny of how it is sourced and given moral legitimation. This strain runs through all her extensive writings. In 'Origins of Totalitarianism' she scrutinises the shared roots of both Stalinism and Nazism, and in 'Eichmann in Jerusalem: the Banality of Evil' she exposes the ordinariness of immoral action in everyday human behaviour. In her last writing she explored the notion of conscience as court of accountability for everyone in their own me-ness.

Life

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/arendt.html

Writings

Papers at Library of Congess, some open access online http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/arendthtml/arendthome.html

The Human Condition http://www.free-ebooks.net/ebook/The-Human-Condition/pdf/view

Video

Hannah Arendt interview (German with English subtitles) (60 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsoImQfVsO4

BALDWIN, James
1924 - 1987
United States
LITERATURE

 

American novelist known for his vivid expression of what it means to be black and gay in a small-minded society. His life was spent in successive decades in Haarlem and Greenwich Village in New York and latterly the South of France. It included close friendship with well-known artists, musicians and film stars, as well as political activists. Civil rights and anti-war concerns exercised him greatly and in his perpetual and passionate searchings he continually drew on the black Pentecostal experience of his early years. It informed the moral conviction he used to repudiate a loveless version of white Christianity.

Life

http://web.archive.org/web/20080511160855/http://www.uic.edu/depts/quic/history/james_baldwin.html

http://www.biography.com/people/james-baldwin-9196635#early-life&awesm=~oGp5riV3aCyMi0

http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/collections/highlights/james-baldwin-photographs-and-papers

Writings

Go tell it on the mountain http://www.wenovel.com/book/204.html

The fire next time https://archive.org/details/firenexttime00bald_0

Video

Baldwin's Speech at Cambridge (8 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUBh9GqFU3A 

 

 

BALDWIN, James M
1861 - 1934
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Proponent of experimental psychology based on systematic observation of children's development. He drew on insights from evolutionary biology as well as philosophy and social theory. Thus he asserted an interactivity between the givens of collective and individual genetic inheritance and individual intention. His academic bases included Germany and France as well as Canada and the US. He was the originating editor of Psychological Review and collated the huge Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology (1906).

Life

http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/museum/baldwin.htm

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/James_Mark_Baldwin.aspx

Writings

Social and ethical interpretations in mental development https://archive.org/details/socialethicalint00bald

Individual and Society https://archive.org/details/individualandso01baldgoog

The Superstate and the "Eternal Values" https://archive.org/details/superstateeterna00bald

Video

Draw my life: James Mark Baldwin (3 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9n3TPfTa2U

BATESON, Gregory
1904 - 80
England + United States (from 1
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Bateson’s early academic work was based in Cambridge UK. His extensive anthropological field work in New Guinea and Bali (latterly with first wife Margaret Mead) provided the observational basis for his theories of binary aspects of human personality, both symmetrical (equal) and complementarily oppressive/ submissive.

 

Following his move to California, he set out to develop a theory of the ecology of mind which chimed in with systems theory and the emerging cybernetics. The interrelation of mind and body is part of a complex ecological whole, which has to be grasped to be understood.

 

Life

 

 

 

 

 

 Writings

 

Video

Ecology of Mind (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNkFU5ZkNkg 

 

 

 

BEECHER, Henry W
1813 - 1875
United States
RELIGION

 

Protestant (Prebyterian/Congregationalist) preacher, renowned for his proclamation of love and justice. This informed his personal temperance and public campaigning for the abolition of slavery, which were characterised by the common touch of wit and dramatic gesture. His liberal theological views were visible in his beliefs that evolution and theistic belief are compatible and in his willingness to support the deployment of rifles in favour of the abolitionist cause. They may also have been implicit in his extra-marital relationships, but there was an evident tension between his affirmation of women’s liberation and an expectation of confidentiality.

Life

Writings

BENEDICT Ruth
1887 - 1948
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Childhood illness and unhappiness along with a range of cross-cultural field experience were aspects of the diverse range of experience on which Ruth Benedict was able to draw as a cultural anthropologist. So too were close relationships with Franz Boas and Margaret Mead. Early on she developed an interest in female emancipation – evident in her mini biography of Mary Wollstonecraft, but sadly, in spite of her scholarly stature even internationally, her full professorial elevation came too late for her to enjoy. The relevance of anthropological perspective in national defence became an incentive for her study of Japanese culture. The relativism which she identified in such variably predominant attitudes towards such as trance experience, paranoia and homosexuality did not dilute her sense of moral integrity which was also present in her scientific humanism.

Life

Writings

 

BLACK ELK
1863 - 1950
United States
POLITICS, RELIGION

 

Hehaka Sapaand Nicholas Black Elk is one of the best known Native Americans. His experience spans the early years of conflict with the white man ‘settlers’, travelling to England and Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and later life as a Roman Catholic convert. His writings (orally shared and developed – he was largely illiterate and going blind) are authentic sources of the religious life of the Lakota. They include healing and dance traditions – from his own ill health and dream experiences he became a medicine man/shaman. They also reveal his lifelong concern for harmony with the natural world and between peoples.

Life

BOAS, Franz
1858 - 1942
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Emigrating from Germany where he had spent the first third of his life, and from an academic background in Geography, Boas was a key protagonist in the development of the discipline of Anthropology. His approach included a readiness to draw on archaeology, ethnography and linguistics in the service of better understanding the diversities of human culture. Field work and scientific rigour were necessary prerequisites. His early life experience of anti-semitic and nationalistic sentiments, which fuelled his naturalized US citizenship, contributed to his ever-readiness to expose racism. From his professorial base at Columbia, he became a significant shaping influence in both the personal and professional lives of successive generations of those within the US and beyond who helped define and establish what anthropology properly brings to human self-understanding and the moral worth within it.

Life

Writings

Video

Franz Boas (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eS3wqv96VcM 

BRONFENBRENNER, Urie
1917 - 2007
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Moscow born but living in USA since childhood and mainly based at Cornell. Responsible for a distinctive notion of the Ecology of Human Development in which the psychology of the individual child in a family setting is understood as shaped by the larger contexts of family, society economics and culture. In his Two Worlds of Childhood he contrasts the shaping effects of growing up in the different cultural contexts of the USA and USSR. He had a significant role in the building of the Headstart Programme.

Life

Writings

 

 Video

Bronfenbrenner - a short interview (3 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yCwDPrsp-o

CHAPLIN, Charlie
1889 - 1997
England, United States, Switzer
LITERATURE

 

Comic genius; ‘slapstick’ with serious intent. Generally seen as representing the ‘underdog’, specifically exposing the likes of Adolf Hitler. Suspicious of ‘the American way of life’ but only questionably warranting his investigation as Communist agitator. Sexually adventurous and serially married.

Life

Writings/films

Video

Charlie Chaplin receives his Honorary Academy Award (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3Pl-qvA1X8

DAY, Dorothy
1897 - 1980
United States
RELIGION

 

American activist and writer, distinguished by the continuity between her radical political views and her Christian faith. From early exposure to the effects of the San Francisco earthquake, through the Great Depression, the Hiroshima atom bomb, Cuban revolution and all subsequent occasions of suffering, whether near to hand or distant, she insisted that moral integrity had to be lived. Roman Catholic and political establishment were continually subject to her scrutiny and challenge, but by her own deeper sense of nation and church and not their passing rejection.

Life

http://spartacus-educational.com/Jday.htm

http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/dorothy-day-1255.php

http://www.wisdompage.com/DorothyDayWisdom.pdf

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/2014/03/14/february-8-2013-the-life-of-dorothy-day/14669

Writings

Collection of articles + four books http://www.catholicworker.org/dorothyday/index.html

 Video

Dorothy Day Documentary: Don't call me a saint (3 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKiLCDaCAOU

DEWEY, John
1859 - 1952
United States
PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Best known as a philosopher of education, with lifelong experience as both teacher and writer. His experiential and expressly pragmatic approach was extended into the field of psychology and social reform. His impact was extensive not only within the US, but also extended to China and Japan.

 Life

 

Writings

Video 

John Dewey: his life and work (4 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAz-GVSmh38 

DOUGLAS, Mary
1921 - 2007
England/United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Social anthropologist with a field work background with the Lele in Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), but recognised principally as a social theorist. She focussed on how people classify their boundaries in respect of family life and marriage, food and drink, dust and cleanliness, and dealing with risk. In doing this she extended the anthropological gaze from non-western tribal contexts to contemporary European and American society. She drew attention to the importance of symbols in the shaping of complex understandings. This she explored extensively in relation to biblical literature and Jewish self-understanding. She was herself a lifelong Roman Catholic

 Life

 Writings

 

Video 

Interview with Mary Douglas (extract) (2 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3lgS3ACtEk

DUBOIS, William
1868 - 1963
United States Ghana
LITERATURE, SOCIAL SCIENCE

Joint founder in 1909 of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People and editor of its magazine Crisis for most of next 25 years. Prolific in articulating the cause of Black enfranchisement and Pan-Africanism in scholarly texts, novels and public demonstrations.  Finally naturalized as a citizen of Ghana 1961. 

Life

Writings

 

Video

W.E.B. Du Bois - Activist Leader (4 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGOEED_MexI

 

EDDY, Mary Baker
1821 - 1910
United States
RELIGION

 

Founder of the Christian Science movement/religion. This was rooted in her personal experience of healing and her response to the stories of Jesus and to the teaching of Phineas Quimby. She set out her contested belief that the mind is the best means of overcoming illness in her book Science and Health and this was and remains the platform of the Church of Christ, Scientist.

Life

http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/mary-baker-eddy-82.php

http://marybakereddy.wwwhubs.com

http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Mary_Baker_Eddy.html

http://www.evidenceunseen.com/world-religions/christian-science/a-philosophical-critique-of-christian-science

Writings

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3458

Collected Works http://christiansciencebooks.rolf-witzsche.com

Video

Mary Baker Eddy: her life and legacy (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF-bBDzdlE8 

 

EDWARDS, Jonathan
1703 - 1758
United States
RELIGION

 

Christian preacher and writer recognised as an outstanding Puritan theologian, with strong links to Yale (main education and conversion)and Princeton (cut short by death from a smallpox injection chosen to be an example to others). Leader of 'Great Awakening' revival through persuasive argument. Whilst stressing the importance of individual free will he asserted that any long term human satisfaction must come from beyond as a divine gift. The prospect of hellish torment is an important prompt for moral response.

Life

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards

http://www.theopedia.com/Jonathan_Edwards

http://www.jesociety.org

Writings

http://edwards.yale.edu/

 

 

ELIJAH MUHAMMAD
1897 - 1975
United States
RELIGION, POLITICS

 

Originally Elijah Poole, son of a Protestant minister in Georgia, he grew up in a condition of relative poverty. Moving to Detroit in 1930 he became an enthusiastic follower of the ‘Prophet’ Fard. A year later on Fard’s death he became leader of the Black Muslim organisation Nation of Islam. In 1976 it became ‘the World Community of Islam in the West'. Retrospectively Fard was recognised as Allah, with Elijah Muhammad as his Messenger and Prophet. The emphasis was on the self-help and advancement of Black Americans through education, opening schools in Michigan in the 1930s. The movement continued over the next 40 years, in variable association with Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan. Media representation was generally suspicious and often misrepresentative and hostile. Association with Muhammad Ali did much to raise his profile. There were significant exchanges with Martin Luther King and James Baldwin. His relevance for Moral Education lies in his interaction with racism, with ‘mainstream Islam’ and with Christianity.

 

Life

Writings

Video

Interview with Elijah Muhammad (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkIMGGVH4dU

ELIOT TS
1888 - 1965
United States/England
LITERATURE, RELIGION

Thomas Stearns Eliot, writer of poetry, plays and critical essays on contemporary society. He spent the first half of his life in the US, then relocated as a citizen to the UK. Much of his writing was concerned with exploring beliefs which he could live by. Though these were finally identified as Anglo-Catholic, they never lost a degree of doubt.

 

Life

Writings

Video

T.S. Eliot: a short biography (6 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x87fqWlBATA

EMERSON, Ralph W
1803 - 1882
United States
LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY

 

Though immersed from childhood years in the teachings of Unitarian Christianity, Ralph Waldo Emerson broke from these in his mid thirties, developing instead in company with others the philosophy of ‘Transcendentalism’. This shift away from institutional forms of tradition was In part triggered by his contact with Carlyle, Wordsworth and Coleridge during his travels in Europe. Instead he placed far greater emphasis on personal experience and judgement, along with love of good, of truth and of beauty.

 

Life

 Writings

ERIKSON, Erik H
1902 - 1994
Germany, United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Leading exponent of children’s psycho-social development. He had a German Jewish background, and in 1933 relocated to N. America where he held a series of leading university and medical research positions. Drawing on his own training in psychoanalysis and Montessori educational theory and on his subsequent working experience with Sioux Indian families, with war-stressed American soldiers, and with disturbed children and adolescents, he developed a stage theory which takes account of both psychological factors and social contexts. He also applied his interpretative theories to the Young Man Luther and to Mahatma Gandhi. 

Life

Writings

Video

Interview with Erik Erikson (15 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpOtpuBnjbo

FESTINGER, Leon
1919 - 1989
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Influential social psychologist, best known for the theories of cognitive dissonance and of social comparison. Festinger observed that the dissonance created by exposure to challengingly different beliefs often leads to even stronger attestation of those beliefs as a means of avoiding the unsettlement of rejecting or changing them. He also noted that people commonly compare themselves with others in forging their own self-understandings, and that they are most influenced by those nearest to them – the ‘propinquity theory’. The relevance of these observations for moral education is self-evident.

 

Life

Work

FLETCHER, Joseph
1905 - 1991
United States
RELIGION

 

American Episcopalian moral theologian, best known for his exposition in the 1960s of an approach to moral problems characterised as ‘Situation Ethics’. This was widely welcomed as evidence of intelligent Christian engagement with  ‘the real world’. Others, both fellow Christians and rejectors of Christianity saw it  as a ‘sell-out’ of the true authority of the Church and moral law. In full accord  with the official views of the wider Anglican Communion, he supported the use  of contraceptive methods of birth control. He went on to extend the Christian  freedom lovingly to act out moral responsibility in other ways too. For instance,  he provided justification, in certain circumstances, for euthanasia and abortion.  In the following twenty years, many at the Hastings Centre, he was much  involved with medical and bio-ethics, including attempts to define what constitutes humanhood’. He eventually decided that religious belief was more  harm than help in pursuing the moral agenda.

Life

 

FRANKLIN, Benjamin
1706 - 1790
United States
POLITICS

Best known for his part in negotiating American Independence, he initially made his name in journalism and subsequently in both scientific experimentation and diplomatic representation in the UK and France. There was an ordinary integrity about him, well reflected in his SilenceDoGood writings on morality.

Life

Work

FROMM, Erich
1900 - 1980
Germany, United States
PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL SCIENCE

From an educational background and both rabbinic and psychoanalytic training in Germany, he emigrated as Nazism took hold. In university teaching, clinical practice and a succession of well-received books, he pursued the priority of maximising human freedom. That fulfilment entailed escape from false versions of being free – economic, emotional and political. Instead he sought a rounded version which he couched in terms of humanist ethics.

 

Life

Work

Video

Interview with Erich Fromm (30 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTu0qJG0NfU

GALBRAITH J K
1908 - 2006
Canada United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE
GARVEY, Marcus
1887 - 1940
Jamaica, United States
POLITICS, RELIGION

 

Activist for black enhancement, initially in Jamaica, then the US and Canada and subsequently across Africa. He set about establishing black businesses and a Declaration of the Human Rights of the Negro People of the World. He was pessimistic about the prospect of equality with Whites in America and campaigned instead for a Black African Zion.Prompted by Psalm 68, he developed an earlier 19th century notion of Ethiopia and Africa as the leader of nations. This was also tied in with the development of Rastafarian religion, centred on Ras Tafari the Emperor of Ethiopia.

 Life

Works

Video

Marcus Garvey: civil rights activist (4 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-XjloOKl60

GESELL, Arnold
1880 - 1961
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Pioneer in study of infant and child development, principally Yale based. His longitudinal metric followings of individual children from earliest years to adolescence are comprehensive in attention to motor skills, reasoning abilities and the structuring of beliefs. They provide the basis for constructing age-related gradients of growth which include all aspects of bodily activity, emotional expression, dream life, relationships, play, educational learning, moral sense and philosophy of life, including God and death. Though reflective of a particular social and cultural context, which qualifies any claim to general normativity, they are still informative. Parenting, adoption procedures and school education have all gained from his work.

 Life

Works

Video

Arnold Gessell child development video (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByBRqMNTcNQ

GOFFMAN, Erving
1922 - 1982
Canada, United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE
HANDSOME LAKE
1735 - 1815
United States
POLITICS, RELIGION

 

American Indian chief and religious leader, much involved in attempts at reconciliation between Native Americans and Whites. He drew on religious beliefs of Shaker Christians and his own Turtle Clan. Following a near death experience involving alcohol excess, he declared a code for moral transformation centred on education, lawful behaviour and support for the poor. 

Life

Works

 

HARTSHORNE, C
1897 - 2000
United States
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

Leading Christian ‘process theologian’, reworking traditional religious beliefs along the lines of AN Whitehead’s philosophy. This has particular consequences for his understanding of evil and suffering, as also of God – better understood as within all that is in the universe but not confined to it (‘panentheist’). As such God is neither reducible to the universe (‘pantheist’) nor entirely separate from it – world inclusive AND transcending.

Life

Works

HAWTHORNE, Nathaniel
1804 - 1864
United States
LITERATURE

 

Novelist and short story writer who was continually exercised regarding the nature of evil and any human responsibility for it.

Life

Works

HOFSTADTER, Richard
1916 - 1970
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Historian with special interest in identifying factors involved in shaping political behaviour and by implication human behaviour more generally. The relevance for moral education is in its exposure of the complex and often unconscious motives that operate in public and professional lives, and which therefore deserved to be brought to personal awareness much sooner. The relative position of economic self-interest as compared with social reputation is already a live issue in family and school.

Life

Works

 

Video

 

HUBBARD, Ron
1911 - 1986
United States
LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY

 

Writer of science fiction and originator of the Church of Scientology based on beliefs set out in the book Dianetics. He claimed that Scientology provides a rational philosophy of life which will eliminate emotional ‘hang-ups’ and conceptual confusions. The claim is reinforced by extensive literature and elaborate training routines; these have attracted many thousands of adherents. Critics argue that Scientology is little more than a questionable form of psychotherapy, very costly for its subscriber and lucrative for the organisation.

Life

Writings

Video

Excerpt from a Ron Hubbard lecture (4 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsshJH5ToUE

JAMES Henry
1843 - 1916
United States England
LITERATURE

 

American novelist who thrived independently of his eminent family background (father distinctive theological writer, brother William psychologist). He was a keen observer of the American and British social scenes, undergoing challenge to their conventions and values.                                 

Life

Writings

JAMES William
1842 - 1910
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY

 

Philosopher and psychologist with a string sense of empirical grounding first established by his studies in human anatomy. The test of both religious and moral beliefs is their outcomes, especially in overcoming evil and wrongdoing. He took the actual experience of individuals, including ‘conversions’, very seriously as mattering more than abstract theory.

Life

Writings

JONES James
1931 1978
United States Guyana
RELIGION

 

Leader of People’s Temple movement in the US from 1975 in California, relocating to Guyana in 1977 where the community ended in an act of collective suicide. For much of his life and teaching he was seen to stand for socialism and racial equality, both a charismatic healer and prophet. Latterly criticisms surfaced of mistreatment and child abuse. There is dispute regarding his state of health and mind, as also over the use of force in the deaths. Issues of political naivete, psychological delusion, freedom of belief, power of personality are all prominent here.

Life

Writings

Video

Jim Jones and Jonestown (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zI9ub9AgF0

KAPLAN, Mordecai
1881 - 1983
United States
RELIGION

Founder of Reconstructionist movement in Judaism which gave renewed impetus to Jewish community life. He highlighted the notion of Jewish civilisation with inherited characteristics which need renewal in the modern world. Amongst these is the long established Bar Mitzvah for boys and he complemented this by introducing the notion of Bat Mitzvah for girls. His views aroused strong sympathies for and against; for some he had to be ‘excommuiicated’.  

Life

Writings

 

KELLY, George A
1905 - 1966
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

American psychologist renowned for developing his ‘personal construct’ account of the distinctive ways in which we individually perceive others. This makes use of a ‘repertory grid’ personality test.

Life

Writings

KELSEN, Hans
1881 - 1973
United States
PHILOSOPHY

 

Austrian-American legal theorist who stressed the importance of law as scientifically normative rather than deriving from or based on practice. Although the findings of social science or the values arising from religious beliefs have some relevance, law itself being a community-wide willed principle generates its own sense of ‘ought’.

Life

Writings

KING Martin Luther
1929 - 1968
United States
RELIGION, POLITICS

 

Baptist Christian pastor, moved by personal faith, social science and theological realism to challenge the violence of race relations and war. His role in creating the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and subsequent campaigning were central to the Civil Rights movement in the USA, and his powerful speechmaking had extensive and lasting impact. His reputation has been the subject of vicious distortion and attack, fuelled by the same kind of prejudice that led to his assassination.

Life

Works

Video

'I have a dream' speech (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vDWWy4CMhE

KINSEY, Alfred
1894 - 1956
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

From an academic background in Zoology, he established the Institute for Sex Research in 1942 at the University of Indiana. Though controversial because of its subject matter and some of its methods, there is no doubt that he and his fellow workers provided much needed empirical data on the diversity of both male and female sexual experience and behaviour. These are informative for morality regarding sex, but not necessarily in themselves sufficient in determining any prescriptive oughts, except perhaps the need to avoid rigid assumptions.

 

Life

Writings

KLUCKHOHN, Clyde
1905 - 1960
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Cultural anthropologist, best known for his studies of Navaho Indians and for his contribution to the development of a theory of culture. This is inclusive of  how each of the following is understood: human nature, social structure, attitude to the environment, sense of time and behavioural priorities. He throws direct light on how values develop in contemporary society.

Life

Writings

KOHLBERG, Lawrence
1927 - 1987
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY

 

Probably the most influential protagonists in the field of moral education in the last century. Combining an academic background in moral philosophy and development psychology, plus a personal passion to reduce the risk of  human self-destructiveness, Kohlberg created a distinctive approach to related learning. It worked with a Kantian notion of principled autonomy and conscience, along with the identification of a sequenced series of stages of cognitive moral development which he claimed is invariant and universal. Based on his empirical findings, he extended the application of his approach in the context of just community schools and related prison work. He did not ignore Freudian insights into the emotional depths of human behaviour and recognised that overcoming the gap between knowing and doing, words and actions, is a key priority.

Life

Writings

Video

Lawrence Kohlberg: psychologist of morality (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm34XKECHNM

LEE, Ann
1736 - 1784
England United States
RELIGION

 

Founding enthusiast for the creation of the Shaker Church in North America. Ann first became a Shaking Quaker in Manchester (UK) in her early twenties; she had no formal education starting work at the age of 8, with her father a blacksmith and in the nearby cotton mills. Whilst in gaol for disturbing the peace with her public testimony regarding the imminent return of Christ, she had such a direct experience of his presence that this inspired all her future activities. She persuaded others to celebrate a new of life characterised by sexual equality and celibacy, communal prayer and dance, and craftsmanship of beautiful simplicity. And the moral of this story?

Life

Writings

LEHMANN, Paul
1906 - 1994
United States
RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY

 

Influential Christian ethicist and campaigner for human rights, from Ukrainian American family background and Presbyterian belonging. Influenced in student years by friendship with Dietrich Bonhoeffer and academic engagement with Karl Barth and Reinhold Niebuhr. In philosophical terms, his ethical stance is koinonia and communitarian based, qualifying the determinants confined only to an individual situation or to over-ridingly fixed principles. Politically, in the early 1950s he was founding chair of the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee set up to challenge McCarthyism.  

Life

Writings 

LINCOLN, Abraham
1809 - 1865
United States
POLITICS

 

16th President of the USA, renowned for his role in the abolition of slavery and the defeat of states challenging this in the American Civil War. He relied on a ‘common touch’ from his small-town background along with his legal training to frame the persuasive moral thrust of his political campaigning and judgement.

Life

Writings 

LINTON, Ralph
1893 - 1953
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Drawing on academic studies in archaeology, sociology and anthropology, and field work in Polynesia and with Native Americans, he set out the contours for studying humankind in terms of behaviour, culture, personality and social structure. There is a universal principle that values which benefit society persist.

Life

Writings 

LOVEJOY AO
1873 - 1963
United States
PHILOSOPHY

American specialist in the history of ideas, including that of the great chain of being which links all living creatures together hierarchically and believes damage to one to repercuss on others – “take but degree away and hark what discord follows (Shakespeare). There is a moral message in this story.

 

Life

Writings 

LOWIE RH
1883 - 1957
Austria United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Cultural anthropologist influenced by Franz Boas extrapolating from his field studies of Native American societies to characterise primitive human life and subsequent social organisation with the importance of moral reciprocity.

Life

Writings

MAHARISHI, Mahesh Yogi
1911/18 - 2008
India United States
RELIGION

Mahesh Yogi Maharishi was founder of the Transcendental Movement/ TM. From a Hindu kshratiyan caste background and after many years learning from his spiritual guru Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, he founded TM and the International Academy of Meditation in the late 1950s. The association with the Beatles raised their profile significantly and subsequently, centres were established throughout the world – both North and South America, Switzerland and Moscow. A notional link with moral education is evident from the claim that individual creativity and understanding is enhanced, along with social well being and health. Less sympathetic critics overlook his enormous wealth creation and simply characterise him as a ‘benign charlatan’.

Life

Writings

Video

What is enlightenment? (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_7leoJfroY

MALAMUD, Bernard
1914 - 1986
United States
LITERATURE
MALCOLM X
1925 - 1965
United States
POLITICS, RELIGION

 

From a Nebraskan background in petty criminal activity, and whilst in prison Malcolm Little was converted to the Nation of Islam. Under the influence of the leadership of Elijah Muhammad he became a powerful advocate and front man for Black Civil Rights and abrasive critic of White arrogance and injustice. Any racist ingredients in his adopted version of Islam were exposed as false by a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964. His embrace of mainstream Sunni Islam was at the root of his split from the Nation of Islam and his taking the nameEl-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. His assassination the following year is contentiously attributed  to distortions either of the white political establishment or of the Nation of Islam itself in retribution for his change of heart.

 

Life

Writings

Video

Malcolm X: short interviews and speech (3 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcRSOHmYq-k

MARCUSE, Herbert
1898 - 1979
Germany United States
PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS

 

Radical political theorist, challenging status quo assumptions, initially against National Socialism in Germany and from 1933 in the US against cultural commodification.

Life

Writings

Video

Herbert Marcuse on Marxism (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REP7HLI4Rpk

 

MASLOW, Abraham
1908 - 1970
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

A pioneer of ‘humanistic psychology’ focussing on how human potential of anyone and everyone can be maximised. The process of self-actualisation is developed through responding to human needs, from the most basic to the most refined. This hierarchy of needs includes access to peak experiences.

Life

Writings

Video

Abraham Maslow on peak experiences (4 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcOHMGe7lYg

MASTERS, William H
1915 - 2001
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Gynaecologist, turned sexologist, whose laboratory studies of human sexual responses were initially shocking for their detailed documentation. They raised questions about ‘normality’ in this area, about sexual morality, as also about research ethics. His research collaborator was Virginia Johnson and they built on the survey work previously carried out by Arthur Kinsey. Their primary motivation was therapeutic - to assist people in overcoming sexual dysfunction.

Life

Writings

Video

The story of Masters and Johnson (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8BlIJVagJ0

MEAD GH
1863 - 1931
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY

 

Philosopher and social psychologist focussed on the development of the self, generated through interaction with others. The self is constructed  from sharing meanings, as in the form of symbolic language created in play. 

Life

Writings

 

 

 

 

MEAD, Margaret
1901 - 1978
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Probably the most widely published and read of 20th century cultural anthropologists. Her field work in Samoa and New Guinea with its implications that sexual behaviour and norms are socially malleable may explain some of the initial interest, but the quality of her ethnographic observation, as of her collaborators, together with the wider applications of her perspective added to to her reputation – and drew  detractors. Her interest in collective human diversity led her to speak of ‘transcultural continuities’. She was also an active Episcopalian.

Life

Writings

Video

Margaret Mead on intergenerational education (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTJ-3G8RtJU

MENCKEN, Henry Louis
1880 - 1956
United States
LITERATURE

 

American journalist who used his powerful pen abrasively to challenge taken-for-granted assumptions, both political and religious, including Prohibitionism and the ‘booboisie’ of the Bible belt.

Life

Writings

Video

H.L. Mencken speaks! (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCEy0iSMayo

MERTON, Robert
1910 - 2003
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

American sociologist whose reflective analysis gave rise to notions that have become features of modern intellectual life. These include ‘focus groups and their use’, ‘role models’, ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’, ‘serendipity’,and  ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’. He identified the cultural norms which constitute modern science as universalism, ‘communism’, disinterestedness and organised scepticism. Perhaps these are equally key features of good moral education..

Life

Writings

MILGRAM, Stanley
1933 - 1984
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Stanley Milgram work in social psychology is famed for its exposure of human susceptibility to the influence of others on ‘moral’ behaviour. Specifically, an explanation is sought for the extent of collusion shown by ordinary German civilians and prison officers unquestioningly to ‘obey orders’ in horrendous cruelty against Jews in the Third Reich. He finds it in the readiness of those volunteering to take part in a scientific study which involves being encouraged to administer dangerous levels of electric shock on other perceived volunteers. That readiness to obey a scientific authority figure is presented by him as analogous to that shown in other pressured circumstances. In spite of some debate regarding the ethics of the deception which was part of the research method, the evidence is disturbing and has been replicated many times. From a Jewish background himself, he also developed other experiments which variously test the boundaries of human identity and relationship, eg the Cyranoid experiment and that known as the ‘6 degrees of difference’.

Life

Writings

NEOLIN
1725 - 1775
United States
POLITICS, RELIGION

 

Native American leader of Ohio Delaware Indians, strongly opposed to European encroachment. He drew attention to moral failings (including alcohol abuse, sexual misbehaviour and inter-tribal squablings) on the part of his fellow Indians in explanation of their losses.

NIEBUHR, HR
1894 - 1962
United States
RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY

 

Christian ethicist and theologian. Younger brother of the better publicly known Reinhold; the sons of German immigrants to the US. From his PhD interest in the work of Ernst Troeltsch on the Social Teachings of the Christian Churches, he wrestled continually with the challenge of historical relativism, testing the credibility of any faith in a war-torn world. Denominational communities are no substitute for the self acting responsively and responsibly.

NIEBUHR, R
1892 - 1971
United States
RELIGION, POLITICS

 

Christian social ethicist who challenged the liberal inclinations of some fellow theologians. Like any easy optimism of wider public opinion, he found this to be groundless in the daylight of global warfare and individual human capacity blithely to pursue self-interest. Instead he asked for realism in any credible faith or political programme. Whilst recognising the attractions of a pacifist stance, he found it wanting as a response to the complexities of power.

 

OWEN, Robert
1771 - 1858
United Kingdom + United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Welsh born educationalist and social reformer. Drawing on his experience in managing a cotton mill, he set out to create a model community in a village called New Lanark in Scotland. This combined living and working conditions which were fair and amicable for everyone. They included a school, an Institute for the Formation of Character, and a co-operative store. He sought to apply this model in the US, but after 5 years with mixed results returned to England. Emphasis on mutuality and collaborative endeavour were the main features of his lifelong campaigning, especially for the development of trade unions and latterly spiritualism as a means of exposure to moral exemplars.

PARSONS, Talcott
1902 - 1979
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

From his department at Harvard Talcott Parsons was a key figure in the development of Sociology as an academic discipline in its own right. He drew especially on the work of both Durkheim, with his emphasis on social integration, and Weber with his attention to the determining role of beliefs. His approach was expressly open to interdisciplinary collaboration, with particular emphasis on the ways in which any patterns individual and social behaviour relate to the sustenance of social order. This led him to identify what he considered to be necessary moral and religious ingredients of the past, present and future societies.

PENN, William
1644 - 1718
United Kingdom + United States
POLITICS, RELIGION

William Penn was an international propagator of the principle of freedom of conscience and democracy which arose from his core beliefs as a Quaker. He campaigned actively and wrote extensively in their advocacy, being frequently imprisoned for his vehemence. Based on these beliefs he established Pennsylvania with a constitution designed to uphold them; they were basic to his meeting with Lenape Indians in his planned city of Philadelphia. Back in England, for over 30 years, legal, political, financial and theological tussles were his everyday experience. Based on his regard for the light which illuminates each and every human individual, he envisioned the development of a commonwealth of American Peoples and similarly of Europeans, each served by elected parliaments. The strange anomaly of his owning slaves in Pennsylvania may be explained by reference to the writings of Paul in the New Testament where all relationships including that of owner and slave are transformed by Christian love.`

 

PERKINS, F
1882 - 1965
United States
POLITICS, SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Francis Perkins was a social reformer and political campaigner in the US. Known for her support for health and safety, industrial relations and housing – and women’s issues on all fronts. She was regularly elected to positions of political leadership, inspired by a consistent sense of moral purpose.

PHENIX, Philip
1915 - 2002
United States
PHILOSOPHY, CURRICULUM

His early career included national recognition as a theoretical physicist, work in the life insurance industry, air force meteorologist. Thereafter, especially from his base at Columbia Teachers College in New York his attention turned to the philosophy of education, rooted openly in moral and religious sense. In a succession of books he expounded the theme of an integral architecture of knowledge, comprised by interweaving ‘realms of meaning’. An educated person will discover that literature and the arts, religion and ethics coinhere with the sciences in creating overall meaning in life. At the heart of them all is wondering; no surprise that music and play are essential parts of the mix.

PRABHUPADA
1896 - 1977
INDIA United States
RELIGION

Calcutta born businessman (Abban Charan De), who at the age of 37 took on a responsibility for the furtherance of Krishna Consciousness in the West, becoming known as Bhaktivedanta Swama Prabhupada. For 20 years he concentrated on translation of key texts while maintaining family responsibilities (these grew to some 90 volumes by the time of his death). Thereafter, he moved to the USA, briefly in New York and for the rest of his life California. From his base there he promoted the development of ISKCON (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness), generating followers in many American and European cities. Their chanting enthusiasm was in the tradition of the 15th century Chaitanya and responding to the words of the Bhagavadgita. The consequent lifestyle was one of simplicity, with abstention from alcohol, drugs, meat and non-marital sex. He insisted that the sense of bliss arising from a life centred on the Gita would be transformative for both the individual and for all humanity, becoming attuned to cosmic unity.

Video

Interview with Srila Prabhupada (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezr3UNOryFw

RAJNEESH, Bhagwan
1931 - 1990
India United States
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

One of the more controversial of modern gurus, Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh resigned his university teaching position in philosophy in 1966 to become a spiritual teacher – of undoubted charismatic power. This led to his creation of an ashram in Poona, referred to as the Orange People, designed for healing therapies, meditation and ‘shocking’ experiences. The shocks were intended to release energies and create more direct awareness, and included physical outbursts and sexual activities. These last contributed to increasing criticism of both him and the movement as a whole; drug abuse and financial scandal was a further challenge to credibility. His creation of a replacement base in the USA 1981 – 5 was a repeat of all these features; following expulsion, he returned to Poona now calling himself Osho with another set of followers. His life is an outstanding example of the need for clarity about the criteria by which any leader or exemplar figure is evaluated.

http://www.oshosourcebook.com/wp-content/uploads/OSHO-Source-BOOK.pdf

Video

'There is no tomorrow' (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf8PUAG2aYU

RAMABAI
1858 - 1922
India United States
RELIGION

 

Pandita Ramabai was a social activist, who challenged dominant conventions from within Hindu, Unattached and then Christian starting points. Her own education and experience included several years in both the UK and USA. From a Brahminic family she chose a lower caste marriage. She went on to set up a school for child widows and continually campaigned in favour of educational provision for women.

RAND, Ayn
1905 - 1982
Russia United States
LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY

 

Russian educated, she moved to America in 1926 where she propounded a distinctive moral philosophy through her novels and academic writings. She styled herself a rationalist, believing in ethical egoism in preference to altruism and supporting unregulated free enterprise. These are the components of the stance which she termed ‘Objectivism’.

Video

Ayn Rand on liberty v socialism (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1RxKW-P5V8

RAUSCHENBUSCH, Walter
1861 - 1918
United States
RELIGION

 

Walter Rauschenbusch was a passionate advocate of ‘Social Gospel’ movement. His Christian convictions were centred on a notion of the Kingdom of God whose norms were demanding a radical transformation of the current social order. His direct exposure to the living and working conditions in the ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ of downtown New York gave realism to all his writing and preaching. Education and prayer alike were agencies for moral and social  awakening.

REDFIELD, Robert
1897 - 1958
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Robert Redfield was a cultural anthropologist who drew on Mexican fieldwork to interpret contemporary urban society in America. He developed the notion of the folk-urban continuum, indicating that small scale societies and subcultures do interlink with larger scale settings. Moral self-understanding is not just one or the other, but is a both-and condition.

http://varenne.tc.columbia.edu/bib/info/redflrobr60littcomm.html

REST, James
? - 1999
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Pioneering exponent of the Defining Issues Test (DIT). From his base in the University of Minnesota Psychology Department he led a collaborative team of scholars to develop a user-friendly means of testing the stage of a person’s moral development. This was an extension of the cognitive-developmental approach of Lawrence Kohlberg.

ROGERS, Carl
1902 - 1987
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY

 

Carl Rogers was an American psychotherapist, greatly influential in developing and promoting a non-directive form of counselling which avoided preconceived theories. It is distinctive in focussing on the individual/client, encouraging them to talk openly and reflectively about themselves with a trusted counsellor or  in a collegial ‘encounter group’. Each individual is a moral end in his/her own right.

Video

Carl Rogers on person-centred therapy (2 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0neRQzudzw 

SANTAYANA, George
1863 - 1952
Spain United States
PHILOSOPHY, LITERATURE

 

George Santayana was internationally well respected as a reflective writer who expressed his philosopher in poetry as much as academic treatises. He was a shrewd observer of human failings, both individual and social, and sceptical of the claims and dangers of institutional religions and romantic idealisms. He had simultaneous regard for natural beauty and moral sense.

SKINNER, B F
1904 - 1990
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Probably the best known and most influential of exponents of physical conditioning to explain animal and human behaviour. His theories were based on decades of laboratory experiments with animals complemented by others working nationally and internationally. The pattern of stimulation-response-reinforcement is remarked as dominant throughout all life. It shows why belief in freedom of the will is an illusion.  Classically his Superstition in the pigeon is a model for declaring that all religious beliefs are of little worth, as is morality which has limited effect. However there is another way of interpreting his position. The utopian vision for community as illustrated in his novel Walden Two can be interpreted as an invitation to his readers not only to examine the determinants that are conditioning their behaviour but to go on to identify what they might do to behave differently.

Video

Skinner on free will (1 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYEpCKXTga0

SMITH, Joseph
1805 - 1844
United States
RELIGION

 

Founder of the Mormons in 1830, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. He based this on his experience of an angel messenger some eight years earlier telling where revelatory golden tablets might be found which tell of the earlier settlement of the lost tribes of Israel in America in the 5th century followed by appearances there of the risen Christ. His desire to share this message with others – his missionary zeal – has become a characteristic obligation on those who have become Mormon followers, whether in Utah or throughout the world. His distinctive beliefs were accompanied by distinctive values, including multiple marriage and baptism as a mark of repentance for entry to a coming millennial kingdom – which could also be carried out on behalf of those already dead. Morality and supportive education were a necessary priority for him. However, as with any religious truth claims in which history is involved, independent analysis raises some challenging questions about the extent to which factual corroboration is at all decisive.

SPOCK, Benjamin
1903 - 1998
United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Widely influential within the US and beyond through his books providing child-rearing advice. Critics subsequently attributed to him a general permissive attitude which contributed to growing social opposition to the Vietnam war. That there might be a connection between early childhood education and political convictions is a reminder that how any adults interact with young children is a fundamental issue for moral education. That Benjamin Spock won a gold medal at the Paris Olympics is certain fact; that the Star Trek character played by Leonard Nimoy is derived from him is conjecture..

Video

Merv Griffin interviews Benjamin Spock (5 mins)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTDBL_U68XM

STEINBECK, John
1902 -1968
United States
LITERATURE

 

John Steinbeck was a journalist and novelist who in his writing conveyed in graphic detail the questions of human value and meaning, justice and fairness arising in everyday life. Though most of his writing is rooted in and around California, he conveys an appreciation of diversity and universal moral anguish.

Nobel prize speech (6 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SKEODtaQUU

TECUMSEH
1768 - 1813
United States
POLITICS

 

Shawnee Indian leader who campaigned against continuing land sales to White settlers and for a separate Indian state for Native American people. This would have extended from the Great Lakes in the north to Mexico in the south west. He lived, taught and fought with the moral conviction that like the oceans and the air, land cannot be bought.

                http://www.indigenouspeople.net/tecumseh.htm http://www.isreview.org/issues/39/sell_country.shtml

THOREAU, Henry David
1817 - 1862
United States
LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY

 

Henry Thoreau was an enthusiast for a simple style of life – appreciating natural surrounds of a rural environment and avoiding the impositions of corrupt bureaucracy. He develops a clear rationale for civil disobedience against injustice, including that of slavery.

TILLICH, Paul
1886 - 1965
GERMANY United States
RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY

Paul Tillich spent the first half of his life in Germany, including work as an army chaplain during World War 1, engaging in post-war re-thinking and activity from university positions, and challenging the anti-Jewish momentum. Following loss of university job in 1933, he relocated to New York and for the second half of his life sought to address the challenge of relevance: what genuine contribution can Christianity – or other religions – make to human understanding in a world of increasingly pervasive secular science, culture and politics? He drew on existentialist philosophy, depth psychology and sociology and expressed his thinking in works of systematic theology, student encounter and sermons.

Video

Paul Tillich on Christian faith and symbolism (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UzPI3gKn_4

TWAIN, Mark
1835 - 1910
United States
LITERATURE

 

Mark Twain is the pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He was a reporter and editor for a succession of newspapers, his writings were extensive and especially with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn widely read within North America and abroad. He was a keen observer of everyday human behaviour and society at large. He ‘debunked’ unthinking pretensions in a way that combined humour with common sense morality. His opposition to slavery and empathy for American Indians became stronger in his later years.

U THANT
1909 - 1974
Burma / Myanmar United States
POLITICS

 

From a Burmese Buddhist background, as a teacher he became active in national politics. He had senior ministerial roles including responsibility for Education and subsequently as Ambassador to the UN. He became Secretary General of the United Nations following Dag Hammarskjold’s death. He held that position 1961 – 71 coincidental with the UN’s Development Decade. Mediation in conflict situations and global equity were his evident priorities throughout.

U Thant, third UN Secretary General (2 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2nwvLUSPaU

WASHINGTON, George
1732 - 1799
United States
POLITICS

 

George Washington was the first President of the USA. Experienced in estate management and the use of arms from his own family background, he had a major leadership role in the military struggle against British domination. His position as Chief Magistrate and President emerged during two years of constitutional discussions 1787-9. Seen by many as ‘a Christian soldier defending rights and liberties’, his status as a moral mentor relies on a mixture of historical and apocryphal. There is evidence that his own character was shaped by his youthful focus on a popular list of 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.

WOWOKA
1856 - 1932
United States
RELIGION, POLITICS

 

Also known as Jack Wilson, Wowoka was the initiator of Ghost Dance Movement amongst North American Indians. Drawing on personal visions and tribal traditions, his own initiating message was to call for a radically peaceable lifestyle in response to oppression by White people – they faced imminent destruction. Though it was the Sioux who were massacred at Wonder Knee, Wowoka’s message of living a moral life continued to have an appeal in the development of Pan-Indian identity.

YODER, John
1927 - 1997
United States
RELIGION, POLITICS

John Yoder was an American social ethicist with strong Mennonite/Anabaptist roots. Until recently he was best known for his exposition of Christian pacifism which is the direct expression of a radical response to the gospel message of Jesus. Now as a result of documented sexual wrongdoing this scandal is what is most remarked. The question of whether or not that invalidates his moral and religious views is now widely debated. It coincides with the extensive documentation of sexual abuse on the part of senior figures across the world’s religions. This leads some to observe that this exposes the hypocrisy of religions and therefore the world would be better off without all of them. A wiser conclusion may be that there is confirmation here regarding the urgency of more open debate within every world view regarding sexual behaviour and related ethics.

Yoder talks about the limitations of democracy (11 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wot0r8947Q

YOUNG B
1801 - 1877
United States
RELIGION

 

Brigham Young was a Mormon preacher who did much to make the faith known in Canada and England, attracting thousands of followers. He succeeded Joseph Smith as leader and following expulsion of the community from Illinois, he headed the drive to Utah which became and has remained the secure home for the faithful and their extended families. His own polygamous life style is well documented, including his tussles with both state and federal authrorities; less noticed is the motivation from his faith to establish public utilities in the region – road, rail, and distribution services for farming.

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University of Missouri--St. Louis, United States
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Contact Information: School of Education
Marquette University, United States
Disciplines:Virtue ethics, adult, philosophy/ethics, teaching: higher education , applied ethics
Contact Information: email
University of Alabama, United States
Contact Information:
University of Northern Iowa, United States
Contact Information:
ISHF - University of OK, United States
Contact Information:
Seattle Pacific University, United States
Disciplines:Comparative Education, lifespan, education, research, teaching: higher education , pedagogy
Contact Information:
Wheelock College, United States
Disciplines:multicultural education, childhood, education, teaching: higher education , pedagogy, policy, discrimination, applied ethics, citizenship/civics/social studies , resources
Harvard and AII, United States
Contact Information:
Harvard and AII, United States
Contact Information: Email
University of Wisconsin - Madison, United States
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College of Charleston, United States
Contact Information: email
Alvernia University, United States
Contact Information:
Saint Louis Community College, United States
Contact Information:

Relevant organisations

American Academy of Religion: Religion in schools
United States
Center for Character and Citizenship
United States
Center for Social and Character Development
United States
Center for Strategic and International Studies
United States
Center for Study of Ethical Development
United States
Character Education Partnership
United States
Character Plus
United States
Cyber Citizen Partnership
United States
Domain Based Moral Education
United States
Emory Center for Ethics
United States
Giraffe Heroes Project
United States
Josephson Institute Ethics Centers/Character Counts
United States
Multicultural education
United States
National Alliance for Civic Education
United States
National Association for Multicultural Education
United States
National School Climate Centre
United States
Notre Dame Centre for Ethics and Culture
United States
Responsive classroom
United States
Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement in America
United States
Street Law ? law democracy and human rights
United States
Truth in Reality
United States

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