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By J. Hick

This can be the 1st significant reaction to the problem of neuroscience to faith. It considers japanese types of spiritual event in addition to Christian viewpoints and demanding situations the assumption of a brain just like, or a spinoff of, mind task. It explores faith as internal adventure of the Transcendent, and indicates a latest spirituality.

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Extra resources for The New Frontier of Religion and Science: Religious Experience, Neuroscience and the Transcendent

Sample text

And St John of the Cross insists that the soul’s ‘natural being, though thus transformed, remains as distinct from the Being of God as it was before’ (St John of the Cross 1958, 182). Walter Stace maintained that in such disclaimers the Christian mystics who used unitive language were submitting to ‘the menaces and pressures of the theologians and ecclesiastical authorities’ (Stace 1960, 232). He believed that the mystics’ experiences themselves would have led them to affirm a strict numerical identity with God but that the orthodox doctrine of an ineradicable distinction between Creator and creature, reinforced by the all-powerful authority of the Church, prevented them from drawing the logical conclusion from their firsthand experience.

Again, the religions have embodied, and in varying degrees still embody, the age-old male dominance over women. And they have divided people into rival groups, validating and intensifying almost all human conflicts, as we see so tragically in many parts of the world today. God has, according to those who claim his blessing, been on both sides of every war, perhaps the most recent explicit examples coming from the American Civil War (1861–65), of which one account is aptly called Gods and Generals, for the generals on both sides repeatedly appealed to divine guidance and intervention.

But the range of religious experience is much wider than this, and to encompass it we shall also have to make use of ‘spiritual’ and ‘spirituality’, even though they are today used so extremely loosely. One meaning is that used by the sociologists,where Survey after survey shows that increasing numbers of people now prefer to call themselves ‘spiritual’ rather than ‘religious’. Terms like spirituality, holism, New Age, mind-body-spirit, yoga, feng shui, chi and chakra have become more common in the general culture than traditional Christian vocabulary.

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