History & Human Flourishing

The Humanities and Human Flourishing series publishes edited volumes that explore the role of human flourishing in the central disciplines of the humanities, and to what degree the humanities can increase human happiness.

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This volume examines the relationship between history and human flourishing and, more broadly, investigates the ways in which the arts and humanities are related to human well-being. The essays here represent the efforts of a varied and distinguished group of professional historians to consider a deceptively simple question: what is the value of history for life? Each author asks in what ways historians, their work, and the objects of their inquiry might contribute to human well-being and how they might be encouraged to do so.

History, in this volume, refers not just to the past writ large, but also to the discipline and practice of historical inquiry, along with the production and consumption of works of historical representation. Thinking of history in these ways, the contributors address a wide variety of subjects in connection to issues of well-being, considering history across time and place as a vocation, a source of the sublime, a site of play, and a repository of meaning with surprising analogues to religious experience.

Overall, History and Human Flourishing uses personal experience, insight into the professional and scholarly world of historians, and a variety of historical periods and approaches to highlight the value of studying history in discussions of human flourishing. The essays in this volume identify history and the historical craft as tremendous potential resources for human well-being and of vital importance for our times.