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Encyclopedia > Humility
For the medieval saint of the same name, see Saint Humility.

Humility is a quality or characteristic ascribed to a person who is considered to be humble. "Humility is derived from the Latin word "humilis", which means low, humble, from earth.[1] A humble person is generally thought to be unpretentious and modest: someone who does not think that he or she is better or more important than others. The concept of humility in various religions is often much more precise and extensive. Humility is not to be confused with humiliation, which is the act of making somebody else feel ashamed, and is something completely different. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Saint Humilitas (Humility; Umiltà) (ca. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Etymology: Late Latin humiliatus, past participle of humiliare, from Latin humilis low. ...


Spiritual views of humility

Humility and its correlation with human spirituality is defined in some depth in the book The Power of Humility, which describes twelve characteristics of humility from a generalized perspective, as opposed to the expectations of an organized religion. [2] Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ...

The book indicates that humility is a way towards inner peace, and outlines what the authors believe are the steps toward achieving such. Inner peace (or peace of mind) is a colloquialism that refers to a state of being mentally or spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. ...

Spiritual views on humility are contrasted with religious views on humility in that spirituality, by definition, is often personal and thus has a direct impact only on one's particular self or state of being, whereas religious views are generally considered more rigid, wherein a specific set of rules or laws are put in place to govern how modest or audacious is appropriate in a given situation. in other words, spirituality is an avenue through which humility can be shown or explored, but, once more by definition, is not a governing force unless one chooses it to be.

It is generally considered more pleasant to be humble, as being boastful or obnoxious may have the natural consequence of annoying others. This may be why humility is considered a virtuous state of being.

Religious views of humility

Humility in Buddhism

In Buddhism, humility is equivalent to concern of how to be liberated from the sufferings of life and the vexations of the human mind. The ultimate aim is to achieve a state of enlightenment through meditation and other spiritual practices. Humility can also result from achieving the liberation of Nirvana. When one experiences the ultimate Emptiness and non-self, one is free from suffering, vexations and all illusions of self-deception. Humility, compassion and wisdom characterize this state of enlightenment. This article is about the Buddhist concept. ... Śūnyatā, शून्यता (Sanskrit), Suññatā (Pāli), stong pa nyid (Tibetan), Kuu, 空 (Japanese) qoɣusun (Mongolian), generally translated into English as Emptiness or Voidness, is a concept of central importance in the teaching of the Buddha, as a direct realization of Sunyata is required to achieve liberation from the cycle of...

Chan (Zen) Master Li Yuansong states that enlightenment can come only after humility - the wisdom of realizing one's own ignorance, insignificance and lowliness, without which one cannot see the truth.[citation needed]

Humility in Christianity

This article incorporates text from the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913. The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

St. Thomas Aquinas defines humility similarly as "the virtue of humility".
St. Thomas Aquinas defines humility similarly as "the virtue of humility".

Catholic texts view humility as annexed to the cardinal virtue of temperance.[3] It is viewed as a potential part of temperance because temperance includes all those virtues that refrain or express the inordinate movements of our desires or appetites.[3] Image File history File links Saint_Thomas_Aquinas. ... Image File history File links Saint_Thomas_Aquinas. ... In some Christian traditions, there are four cardinal virtues: prudence, temperance, fortitude (or courage), and justice. ... Temperance may refer to: Temperance (virtue) Temperance movement Temperance (Tarot card) Temperance (band) See also Astrud Gilberto, for the album Temperance This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

Humility is defined as, "A quality by which a person considering his own defects has a humble opinion of himself and willingly submits himself to God and to others for God's sake." St. Bernard defines it as, "A virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is, abases himself."[3] St. ...

St. Thomas Aquinas, a 13th century philosopher and theologian in the Scholastic tradition, defines humility similarly as "the virtue of humility" that "consists in keeping oneself within one's own bounds, not reaching out to things above one, but submitting to one's superior" (Summa Contra Gent., bk. IV, ch. lv, tr. Rickaby). Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 - March 7, 1274) was a Catholic philosopher and theologian in the scholastic tradition, who gave birth to the Thomistic school of philosophy, which was long the primary philosophical approach of the Roman Catholic Church. ... Scholastic is the official student publication of the University of Notre Dame. ...

Humility is said to be the foundation of the spiritual edifice and inferior only to faith. However, humility is considered the first virtue inasmuch as it removes the obstacles to faith. It removes pride and makes a man subject to and a fit recipient of grace; according to the words of St. James, "God resisteth the proud, and giveth his grace to the humble" (James 4:6).[3] For other uses, see Faith (disambiguation). ...

"True humility" is distinctly different from "false humility".[citation needed] "False humility" consists of deprecating one's own sanctity, gifts, talents, and accomplishments for the sake of receiving praise or adulation from others.

Humility comprises the following behaviors and attitudes:[citation needed]

  1. submission to God and legitimate authority;
  2. recognition of the virtues and talents that others possess, particularly those which surpass one's own, and giving due honor and, when required, obeisance;
  3. recognition of the limits of one's talents, ability, or authority; and, not reaching for that which is beyond one's grasp.

As illustrated in the person of Moses, who leads the nation of Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt and to the “Promised Land”, humility is a sign of Godly strength and purpose, not weakness. Of this great leader, the Bible states, “Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth" (Numbers 12:3, NIV). Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

The vices opposed to humility are: (A) pride (by reason or defect). (B) a too great obsequiousness or abjection of oneself; this would be considered an excess of humility,and could easily be derogatory to a man's office or holy character; or it might serve only to pamper pride in others, by unworthy flattery, which would occasion their sins of tyranny, arbitrariness, and arrogance. The virtue of humility may not be practiced in any external way which would occasion vices in others.[3] Pride is the name of an emotion which refers to a strong sense of self-respect, a refusal to be humiliated as well as joy in the accomplishments of oneself or a person, group, nation or object that one identifies with. ...

Amongst the benefits of humility described in the Bible are honor, wisdom, eternal life, unity, rewards in heaven and others. In the Bible, an exhortation to humility is found in Philippians 2:1-17: This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... Honor (or honor) comprises the reputation, self-perception or moral identity of an individual or of a group. ... For the 1986 American crime film, see Wisdom (film). ... Immortality is the concept of existing for a potentially infinite or indeterminate length of time. ... Oneness is a spiritual term referring to the experience of the absence of egoic identity boundaries, and, according to some traditions, the realization of the awareness of the absolute interconnectedness of all matter and thought in space-time, or ones ultimate identity with God (see Tat Tvam Asi). ... For other uses, see Heaven (disambiguation). ... The Epistle to Philippians is a book included in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. ...

"Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life" Philippians 2:1-17 NLT).

Also in 1 Peter 2:23, concerning Jesus Christ's behavior in general and submission to unjust torture and execution in particular: "When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." (1 Peter 2:23 NIV) This page is about the title, office or what is known in Christian theology as the Divine Person. ... Categories: Stub | Bible versions and translations ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...

Humility in Islam

In the Qur'an, Allah uses Arabic words conveying the meaning of "humility." Among these are "tawadu' " and "khoshou' ": The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... Allah is the Arabic language word for God. ...

"Before thee We sent messengers to many nations, and We afflicted the nations with suffering and adversity, that they call Allah in humility. When the suffering reached them from Us, why then did they not call Allah in humility? On the contrary, their hearts became hardened, and Satan made their sinful acts seem alluring to them." (Al-Anaam 6:42-43)

"Successful indeed are the believers, those who humble themselves in their prayers." (Al-Muminoon 23:1-2). "Has not the time arrived for the believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been revealed to them."(Al-Hadid 57:16)

Philosophical views of humility

Kant is among the first philosophers to view conception of humility as "that meta-attitude which constitutes the moral agent's proper perspective on himself as a dependent and corrupt but capable and dignified rational agent".[citation needed] Kant's notion of humility is that humility is a virtue, and indeed a central virtue.[citation needed]

Mahatma Gandhi is attributed as suggesting that attempting to sustain truth without humility is doomed to cause it to become instead an "arrogant caricature" of truth.[4][5] “Gandhi” redirects here. ... Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy, François Lemoyne, 1737 For other uses, see Truth (disambiguation). ...

Some other schools of thought, such as Ayn Rands Objectivism, have seen self-abasement as antithetical to morality. Objectivism is the philosophical system developed by Russian-American philosopher and writer Ayn Rand. ...

Humility is considered an important virtue in taoism. The following quote describes how a wise person should see his accomplishments, according to the Tao Te Ching (77.4) Taoism (Daoism) is the English name referring to a variety of related Chinese philosophical and religious traditions and concepts. ... The Tao Te Ching (道德經, Pinyin: D Jīng, thus sometimes rendered in recent works as Dao De Jing; archaic pre-Wade-Giles rendering: Tao Teh Ching; roughly translated as The Book of the Way and its Virtue (see dedicated chapter below on translating the title)) is...

[a wise person] acts without claiming the results as his; he achieves his merit and does not rest (arrogantly) in it: -- he does not wish to display his superiority.

Nietzsche wrote of humility (not to speak of patience, wisdom, and any other virtue lauded widely by the masses) as a weakness, a false virtue which concealed the frailties and hidden crookedness in its holder. Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... Patience, engraving by Hans Sebald Beham, 1540 Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: patience Patience is the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties. ... For the 1986 American crime film, see Wisdom (film). ... Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Virtue (Latin virtus; Greek ) is moral excellence of a person. ... Map of countries by population —showing the population of the Peoples Republic of China and India, the only two countries to have a population greater than one billion. ... Weakness can mean: The opposite of strength Weakness (medical) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...

His idealized ubermensch would be more apt to roam around unfettered by pretensions of humility, proud of his stature and power, but not reveling idly in it, and certainly not displaying hubris. In Thus spake Zarathustra (in German, Also sprach Zarathustra), the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche explains the three steps through which man can become an Übermensch (literally, overman or superman): By his will to destruction By re-evaluating or destroying old ideals By overcoming nihilism The will to destruction Nietzsches... Hubris or hybris (Greek ), according to its modern usage, is exaggerated self pride or self-confidence (overbearing pride), often resulting in fatal retribution. ...

Further reading

  • Humility, by Andrew Murray. Revised by Harold J. Chadwick. ISBN 0-88270-854-6

Andrew Murray may refer to: Andrew Moray, commonly referred to as Andrew Murray, Guardian of Scotland during 13th century; key military and political leader of the Scots during the Scottish Wars of Independence Andrew Murray (botanist) (1812–1878), Scottish botanist Andrew Murray (minister) (1828–1917), South African minister of religion...


  1. ^ "Humble" from Merriam-Webster
  2. ^ Whitfield, CL; Prevatt J, Park R (2006). The Power of Humility: Choosing Peace over Conflict in Relationships (in English). Health Communications. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Catholic Encyclopedia, "Humilty"
  4. ^ http://www.geocities.com/rkvenkat/chastity.html
  5. ^ http://www.mkgandhi.org/epigrams/h.htm
  • Al-Munajjid, Sheikh Muhammad Saleh. Islam Q&A Website."Different kinds of humility". Retrieved April, 5, 2006.
  • Sister Huda. 19/11/1998. About.com Website."Humility". Retrieved April, 5, 2006.
  • Catholic Encyclopedia. [1]

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

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  Results from FactBites:
Humility - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (815 words)
Humility is not to be confused with humiliation, which is the act of making someone else feel ashamed, and is something completely different.
In Islam, humility is considered a cornerstone in the true Muslim character.
Nietzsche wrote of humility (not to speak of patience, wisdom, and any other virtue lauded widely by the masses) as a weakness, a false virtue which concealed the frailties and hidden crookedness in its holder.
  More results at FactBites »



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