Where God Lives in the Human Brain

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9781570717413: Where God Lives in the Human Brain
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"We have been religious for as long as we have been Homo sapiens..."

Walking the fine line between religious belief and recent scientific discoveries about the human brain, Where God Lives in the Human Brain explores the way humans have evolved to seek meaning in the world, to humanize our environment and to long for connection with the divine.

This enlightening, highly researched book shows how the way the brain works produces various interpretations and understandings of God. Our reptilian brain, the oldest part, gives us ritual, holy places and an ever-present God, while our mammalian brain gives us a loving, nurturing God. Our neocortex, the organizing part of the brain, gives us a God who is purposeful on our behalf.

In the final analysis, human beings are hardwired to seek--and find--God. Where God Lives in the Human Brain shows how we can understand this impulse toward divinity by understanding the intricacies of our brain and its capacity to grapple with the complexity of our universe.

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About the Author:

Since 1989, Carol Rausch Albright has been the executive editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, affiliated with the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science. She has been an associate for programs for the Chicago Center for Religion and Science and codirector of the John Templeton Foundation Science and Religion Teaching Program. The late James B. Ashbrook worked since the 1970s on the relationship between brain research and religion, and was active in the Chicago Center for Religion and Science.

From Publishers Weekly:

Albright, who edits Zygon, the journal of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science, and Ashbrook, long associated with the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, make a disappointingly garbled offering to the hardwired-for-God genre. Some of the authors' claims will be familiar to anyone who has recently watched 20/20 or picked up Time magazine: The human brain is not static and fixed, but morphs and changes throughout life, depending on environmental stimuli. Other findings, difficult to substantiate scientifically, will make intuitive sense to readers: Human beings are innately curious about how the world works and try to find meaning in it. Perhaps the most interesting and daring arguments of the book concern the relationship of the brain to sin and evil. When the brain doesn't work as it should, say the authors, human beings are led into the types of activities that members of Western religious traditions have traditionally called sin. Finally, the authors make clear that they assume a loving God created the universe and that the brain has something to do with our experience of that God, but the details of their argument are hard to follow. The brain is both a "metaphor" for God and "a lens with which to study" God. Humans are predisposed toward religious faith because faith reflects how they connect their environments with their brains. The authors offer a provocative marriage of theology and science; it is unfortunate that their writing is occasionally opaque and confusing.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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James B. Ashbrook
Published by Sourcebooks Inc (2001)
ISBN 10: 1570717419 ISBN 13: 9781570717413
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Ashbrook, James B.
Published by Sourcebooks (2001)
ISBN 10: 1570717419 ISBN 13: 9781570717413
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