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Books about the future of Culture & Religion

. Books about the future of the Culture & Religion


Why God Won't Go Away : Brain Science and the Biology of Belief
by Eugene G. D'Aquili (Author), Vince Rause (Author), M.D. Andrew Newberg (Author)
Why have we humans always longed to connect with something larger than ourselves? Even today in our technologically advanced age, more than seventy percent of Americans claim to believe in God. Why, in short, won’t God go away? In this groundbreaking new book, researchers Andrew Newberg and Eugene d’Aquili offer an explanation that is at once profoundly simple and scientifically precise: The religious impulse is rooted in the biology of the brain.
In Why God Won’t Go Away, Newberg and d’Aquili document their pioneering explorations in the field of neurotheology, an emerging discipline dedicated to understanding the complex relationship between spirituality and the brain. Blending cutting-edge science with illuminating insights into the nature of consciousness and spirituality, they bridge faith and reason, mysticism and empirical data. The neurological basis of how the brain identifies the “real” is nothing short of miraculous. This fascinating, eye-opening book dares to explore both the miracle and the biology of our enduring relationship with God.


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The Beginning and the End of 'Religion'
Nicholas Lash
What is the subject of theology? These fourteen essays argue against the view that "religion" is the name of one particular territory that we may consider or ignore if we feel so inclined. That "religion" is a subject quite different from others, such as politics, art, science, law and economics, is peculiar to modern Western culture. But Professor Lash states that the "modern" world is ending, and in the consequent confusion is the possibility of discovering new forms of ancient wisdom that the "modern" world obscured from view. Part I explores the dialogue between Christianity and Hinduism. Those essays in Part II (six were published between 1988 and 1994, and five are unpublished) consider relations between theology and science, the secularity of Western culture and questions of Christian hope or eschatology.

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Religion in a Secularizing Society: The Europeans' Religion at the End of the 20th Century (European Values Study, 5)
by Loek Halman (Editor), Ole Riis (Editor), A. Van Andel-Mandersloot

The Cultural Diversity of European Unity: Findings, Explanations and Reflections from the European Values Study
by Wilhelmus Antonius Arts (Editor), Jacques A. Hagenaars (Editor), Loek Halman (Editor)


Religion and Peacebuilding (Suny Series in Religious Studies)
by Harold Coward (Editor), Gordon S. Smith (Editor)
In the wake of September 11, 2001 religion is often seen as the motivating force behind terrorism and other acts of violence. Religion and Peacebuilding looks beyond headlines concerning violence perpetrated in the name of religion to examine how world religions have also inspired social welfare and peacemaking activism. Leading scholars from the Aboriginal, Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions provide detailed analyses of the spiritual resources for fostering peace within their respective religions. The contributors discuss the formidable obstacles to nonviolent conflict transformation found within sacred texts and living traditions. Case studies of Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Cambodia, and South Africa are also examined as practical applications of spiritual resources for peace.



Europe Without Borders: Remapping Territory, Citizenship, and Identity in a Transnational Age
by Mabel Berezin (Editor), Martin Schain (Editor), John Agnew (Contributor)
The creation of the European Union in 1992 reflected new economic, political, and cultural realities on the continent. The dissolution of national borders and the easing of transit restrictions on people and goods with Europe, have contributed to a radical rethinking of such basic concepts as national sovereignty and citizenship. In Europe without Boundaries, Mabel Berezin and Martin Schain bring together leading experts from the fields sociology, political science, geography, psychology, and anthropology to examine the intersection of identity and territory in the new Europe.
In this boldly interdisciplinary effort about the impact of reconfiguration, contributors address such topics as how Europeans now see themselves in relation to national identity, whether they identify themselves as citizens of a particular country or as members of a larger sociopolitical entity, how both natives and immigrants experience national and transnational identity at the local level, and the impact of globalization on national culture and the idea of the nation-state. Theoretically sophisticated and empirically informed, the essays explore an emerging global phenomenon that will have profound political, social, and economic consequences in both Europe and around the world.
Contributors: John Agnew, UCLA; Roland Axtmann, University of Aberdeen; Mabel Berezin, Cornell University; Neil Brenner, New York University; Craig Calhoun, New York University, President of the Social Science Research Council; Juan Diez-Medrano, University of California, San Diego; Roy Eidelson, University of Pennsylvania; Nicholas Entrikin, UCLA; Riva Kastoryano, Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales; Krishan Kumar, University of Virginia; Ian Lustick, University of Pennsylvania; Levent Soysal, New York University.
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Virtual Faith : The Irreverent Spiritual Quest of Generation X
by Tom Beaudoin
If you've ever seen God in a tattoo or had a revelatory experience listening to R.E.M., Virtual Faith is for you. Tom Beaudoin has spent his whole life parked in front of the TV, surfing online, and jamming to the radio--that is when he hasn't been church hopping, getting graduate degrees in theology, or serving in the Israeli army. His book is the most comprehensive and accessible reading on the religious nature of irreverence among members of the so-called "Generation X." While Beaudoin skirts some of the most contentious issues raised by Gen-X pop culture (neither "Marilyn Manson" nor "homosexuality" appears in the index), his book is groundbreaking and important simply because it makes a bold move: he aims two rays of light - God's and Madonna's - straight at each other, and actually takes seriously the wild spectrum that results. - Michael Joseph Gross

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About Religion: Economies of Faith in Virtual Culture (Religion and Postmodernism)
by Mark C. Taylor
What is religion about in the late 20th century? In a virtual world where surface images provide the depth of reality, what role does religion play? These are only two of the many questions that Taylor (Hiding) explores in his inimitably playful way. He begins by asking how can we engage in speculation about the existence of God after God's death and he argues that Melville's ("the most important writer America has yet produced") The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade provides the best portrait of the bankruptcy of faith. In other essays, Taylor investigates the relationship between psychosocial theory and religion as well as the relationship between evolutionary biology and religion. In addition, he explores the similarities between ancient alchemy and the virtual Postmodern culture. "Today's alchemists," he notes, "sublimate base matter into immaterialities on fiber-optic networks where everything is light." Where is religion in the late modern age? Taylor concludes: "The religion that today calls for reflection does not answer questions or provide meaning but abandons us....[It is] forever turning toward what is always slipping away; we can never be certain what religion is about." As comfortable talking about Karl Marx as about contemporary sculptors Fred Sandback and Richard Serra, Taylor courses through the history of ideas and the images of pop culture to demonstrate that religion, art and literature are cultural constructs inextricably bound together. No one who wants to understand religion and contemporary culture should avoid reading Taylor.

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