Brain & Belief: An Exploration of the Human Soul

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AEGIS PRESS, 2004 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 404 pages
2 Reviews
From its beginnings in prehistoric religion to its central importance in Western faith traditions, the soul has been a constant source of fascination and speculation. Brain & Belief seeks to understand mankind's obsession with life, death, and the afterlife. Exploring the latest insights from neuroscience, psychopharmacology, and existential psychology, McGraw exhaustively researches the various takes on the human soul and considers the meaning of the soul in a postmodern world. The ambitious scope of the book is balanced by a deeply personal voice whose sympathy for both science and religion is resonant.
 

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User Review  - DubiousDisciple - LibraryThing

A worthwhile book, comprehensive in its treatment of the evolution of belief in the soul, and why we believe. McGraw possesses degrees in psychology, philosophy and religious studies, and he brings ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Lenaphoenix - LibraryThing

Of the various books I have read discussing the problem of religion in modern society, Brain and Belief is likely to be the most accessible to those who find themselves moving away from a previously ... Read full review

Contents

Preface 1
1
A History of the Soul 11
11
The Prehistoric Beginnings of the Soul 19
19
Shamanism 29
29
The ancient Egyptians 37
37
Zoroastrianism 43
43
The Soul of Plato 49
49
Judaism 79
79
Psilocybin Mushrooms 241
241
MDMAEcstasy 249
249
Brain Damage 262
262
Giving Up the Ghost 273
273
Prolonged Immaturity 285
285
Narcissism and the Reality Principle 297
297
The Epic of Gilgamesh 311
311
The Cult of Immortality 321
321

The Body of Christ 85
85
Recapitulation of the Soul 113
113
The Soul Matter 117
117
The Basics 125
125
Of Neurons and Neurotransmitters 131
131
How We Know Our Brains 141
141
The Binding Problem
157
The Mechanics of Belief and Disbelief 337
337
Mourning Ones Own Death 345
345
Philosophies of Redemption 359
359
Conclusion 375
375
Index 399
399
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

John J. McGraw possesses degrees in psychology, philosophy and religious studies from Stanford University. Currently, he works at the University of California at San Diego as a medical researcher.

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