This eloquent volume reconciles the modern scientific understanding of reality with our timeless spiritual yearnings for reverence and continuity. Looking at topics such as evolution, emotions, sexuality, and death, Goodenough writes with rich, uncluttered detail about the workings of nature in general and of living creatures in particular. Her luminous clarity makes it possible for even non-scientists to appreciate that the origins of life and the universe are no less meaningful because of our increasingly scientific understanding of them. At the end of each chapter, Goodenough's spiritual reflections respond to the complexity of nature with vibrant emotional intensity and a sense of reverent wonder.
A beautifully written celebration of molecular biology with meditations on the spiritual and religious meaning that can be found at the heart of science, this volume makes an important contribution to the ongoing dialog between science and religion.
In this provocative book, Loyal Rue contends that religion, very basically, is about us. Successful religions are narrative (myth) traditions that influence human nature so that we might think, feel, and act in ways that are good for us, both individually and collectively. Through the use of images, symbols, and rituals, religion promotes reproductive fitness and survival through the facilitation of harmonious social relations. Drawing on examples from the major traditions—Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism—Rue shows how each religion, in its own way, has guided human behavior to advance the twin goals of personal fulfillment and social coherence.
As all faiths are increasingly faced with a crisis of intellectual plausibility and moral relevance, this book presents a compelling and positive view of the centrality and meaning of religion.
In what he describes as a late-life credo, renowned science writer Chet Raymo narrates his half-century journey from the traditional Catholicism of his youth to his present perspective as a Catholic agnostic. As a scientist, Raymo holds to the skepticism that accepts only verifiable answers, but as a religious naturalist, he never ceases his pursuit of the beautiful and terrible mystery that soaks creation. Raymo assembles a stunning array of scientists, philosophers, mystics, and poets who help him discover glimmers of the Absolute in every particular. Whether exploring the connection of the human body to the stars or the meaning of prayer of the heart, these challenging reflections will cause believers and agnostics alike to pause and pay attention.