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Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Developing Human Spiritual Potential

Dr. Jane Goodall is best known for her pioneering research with chimpanzees in which she discovered that they share more traits with humans than previously realized. In this book, she shares her personal perspective on what her research means for human beings. This is...
Dr. Jane Goodall is best known for her pioneering research with chimpanzees in which she discovered that they share more traits with humans than previously realized. In this book, she shares her personal perspective on what her research means for human beings. This is a spiritual memoir, and it focuses on the battles between good and evil that occur. Dr. Goodall optimistically sees the potential for humans to do good as outweighing the potential for evil, and she relates her prescription for how each of us should seek to become more saint-like in order to heal the evil that has and is still being done every day to humans, animals, and the environment. While Dr. Goodall will probably never be thought of as a great prose writer, the testimony of her actions, emotions, heart, and thoughts is a powerful inspiration for all to find one's own special calling and to follow it. Reason for Hope has several rare qualities. First, it describes how Dr. Goodall's Christian faith is reconciled with her scientific beliefs. Few scientists do that in public, and both religious and nonreligious people will find the comments to be valuable. Second, she describes one of the most unusual reactions to the Holocaust that I have read. Much of her work with overcoming cruelty towards animals is inspired by seeing them as unwilling victims of zoo and animal research concentration camps. Third, she describes in moving detail the religious epiphanies she has experienced. Fourth, Dr. Goodall describes how she has balanced her personal and professional lives in a very vivid way, that connects to her chimpanzee research. Fifth, she takes what she has learned in her research and connects it to a prescription for humanity. In case you haven't been following her work recently, Dr. Goodall mostly campaigns now for animal rights and to obtain funds to permanently endow the continuation of her work at Gombe in Africa. She is on the road around 300 days a year doing that, and spends the remaining time writing books to publicize her ideas. Her view of animal rights will probably expand your own perceptions. Beyond pointing out the poor conditions applied to animals employed in research and food production, she also makes a persuasive case for how unnecessary pain, discomfort, and a lack of normal pleasantness are instilled on those animals. Basically, she points out that animals share the human qualities of benefiting from lack of pain, freedom to follow one's natural instincts, and receiving loving care. When we treat animals like inanimate objects, we dehumanize ourselves and operate below our spiritual potential to create natural harmony while inflicting real pain and suffering on the animals. Unlike many animal advocates who take extreme positions, she argues for making easily achievable progress towards eliminating abuses of animals as part of a longer path towards ending inhumane treatment of animals. She sees the potential for a future in which there is no animal testing and research and little use of animals for food. But we have to focus on that vision before it will happen. She is even more concerned about the ravages done to the Earth that affect humans and animals alike due to overpopulation, overexploitation of natural resources, and use of chemicals. I found the way she handled the spiritual challenges she faced to be the most interesting part of the book. Her second husband died unexpectedly of cancer. Four of her students were kidnapped at one point from Gombe. She visited two concentration camps. How can a living, loving God allow such evil? You will find her thoughts and experiences helpful with that fundamental question that we all face at various times. In many sections of the book, she shares brief poems that she wrote to describe her thoughts during her various spiritual challenges. I found those to be a helpful way to delve deeper into her heart and mind. Dr. Goodall is clearly a saint-like person in many ways. I am sure you

posted by Anonymous on June 23, 2001

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A Soul Reaching for God

What can be said for a person who realizes their dream and follows it wherever it takes them. Jane read the Tarzan books as a child and fell in love with a continent and its animals. Jane Goodall followed her dreams to Africa where she met and then worked for Louis Le...
What can be said for a person who realizes their dream and follows it wherever it takes them. Jane read the Tarzan books as a child and fell in love with a continent and its animals. Jane Goodall followed her dreams to Africa where she met and then worked for Louis Leaky. It was not a matter of luck. It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time with the tools of knowledge to do the job correctly. Her passion for animals became her spiritual journey and her growth followed a logical path. By studying the Chimpanzees she learned the mysteries of the relationships between God, man and the animals of our small planet.

posted by datahunter on May 3, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2001

    Developing Human Spiritual Potential

    Dr. Jane Goodall is best known for her pioneering research with chimpanzees in which she discovered that they share more traits with humans than previously realized. In this book, she shares her personal perspective on what her research means for human beings. This is a spiritual memoir, and it focuses on the battles between good and evil that occur. Dr. Goodall optimistically sees the potential for humans to do good as outweighing the potential for evil, and she relates her prescription for how each of us should seek to become more saint-like in order to heal the evil that has and is still being done every day to humans, animals, and the environment. While Dr. Goodall will probably never be thought of as a great prose writer, the testimony of her actions, emotions, heart, and thoughts is a powerful inspiration for all to find one's own special calling and to follow it. Reason for Hope has several rare qualities. First, it describes how Dr. Goodall's Christian faith is reconciled with her scientific beliefs. Few scientists do that in public, and both religious and nonreligious people will find the comments to be valuable. Second, she describes one of the most unusual reactions to the Holocaust that I have read. Much of her work with overcoming cruelty towards animals is inspired by seeing them as unwilling victims of zoo and animal research concentration camps. Third, she describes in moving detail the religious epiphanies she has experienced. Fourth, Dr. Goodall describes how she has balanced her personal and professional lives in a very vivid way, that connects to her chimpanzee research. Fifth, she takes what she has learned in her research and connects it to a prescription for humanity. In case you haven't been following her work recently, Dr. Goodall mostly campaigns now for animal rights and to obtain funds to permanently endow the continuation of her work at Gombe in Africa. She is on the road around 300 days a year doing that, and spends the remaining time writing books to publicize her ideas. Her view of animal rights will probably expand your own perceptions. Beyond pointing out the poor conditions applied to animals employed in research and food production, she also makes a persuasive case for how unnecessary pain, discomfort, and a lack of normal pleasantness are instilled on those animals. Basically, she points out that animals share the human qualities of benefiting from lack of pain, freedom to follow one's natural instincts, and receiving loving care. When we treat animals like inanimate objects, we dehumanize ourselves and operate below our spiritual potential to create natural harmony while inflicting real pain and suffering on the animals. Unlike many animal advocates who take extreme positions, she argues for making easily achievable progress towards eliminating abuses of animals as part of a longer path towards ending inhumane treatment of animals. She sees the potential for a future in which there is no animal testing and research and little use of animals for food. But we have to focus on that vision before it will happen. She is even more concerned about the ravages done to the Earth that affect humans and animals alike due to overpopulation, overexploitation of natural resources, and use of chemicals. I found the way she handled the spiritual challenges she faced to be the most interesting part of the book. Her second husband died unexpectedly of cancer. Four of her students were kidnapped at one point from Gombe. She visited two concentration camps. How can a living, loving God allow such evil? You will find her thoughts and experiences helpful with that fundamental question that we all face at various times. In many sections of the book, she shares brief poems that she wrote to describe her thoughts during her various spiritual challenges. I found those to be a helpful way to delve deeper into her heart and mind. Dr. Goodall is clearly a saint-like person in many ways. I am sure you

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2000

    Good Book

    I particularly liked the concept that good will win over evil.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    Love at first page

    I L.O.V.E this book. It has inspired me to reach for my dreams and it has changed the way i see others and the world

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2001

    Reason for Reading: A Spiritual Book

    Thoroughly enjoyed this easy read. Very insightful and entertaining for me as a spiritual person and an animal lover. She offers some interesting theories and ideas, as well as a look at her inner self apart from the Scientist.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Having the incredible fortune of recently meeting Dr. Goodall an

    Having the incredible fortune of recently meeting Dr. Goodall and hearing her speak, not lecture, about her passion and love, I was immediately reminded of Dr Albert Schweitzer's credo of "reverence for life."  In this book, Dr. Goodall speaks openly from her heart of the spiritual lessons she has learned throughout her  history-changing studies.  But moreover, she  speaks of the  spiritual roots that  took her to Africa , to the animals, and to the people in a prose that, having heard her speak, is intimate and conversational while still being  insightful .   This book  allows the reader to sit alongside her and hear her reflections, both academic and spiritual, of her life-long devotion to animals and the lessons they bring to humans--if only we can understand.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent autobiography

    When this reviewer was an undergraduate anthropology major in the CUNY system (perfect prerequisite for reviewing novels), Jane Goodall was already a legend. Now three decades later, Goodall has become so renowned she seems more like an Olympus goddess visiting us mortals. REASON FOR HOPE A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY is Ms. Goodall¿s reflective look back on her life through the events and relationships that led to her spiritual awakening. <P> Although well written and very insightful, the ¿autobiography¿ is for the purists because of a high cost and that PBS has presented a show based on the book. Still, the book is easy to read and provides fascinating insight into a scientist who has to be considered one of the great people of the last fifty years. Did she make Biography¿s list of the twentieth century notables? If not Ms. Goodall should have as this book and her other works prove beyond a shadow of a doubt they should have, but then again I remain prejudiced. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    Love seems so exciting but i dont want to get it cause i have a lot of books

    I love you jane you made my mine blowen away and what you did was amazing and I would go with you if Icould cause I think you are powerful and cares and loves everyone but thanks for telling us how to treat animals.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 16, 2011

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    Posted June 20, 2011

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    Posted November 2, 2008

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