A New Biology of Religion: Spiritual Practice and the Life of the Body

Overview

This book is unique in its focus on bodily experience as an independent source of knowledge and insight, an important aspect of recent discoveries in neurology and psychology. By rethinking what it is to be human and what role self-consciousness plays, it finds striking points of intersection between science and religion and challenges readers to rediscover their spiritual connections to the physical world.

Combining scientific rigor with the spiritual quest, A New Biology of ...

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A New Biology of Religion: Spiritual Practice and the Life of the Body

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Overview

This book is unique in its focus on bodily experience as an independent source of knowledge and insight, an important aspect of recent discoveries in neurology and psychology. By rethinking what it is to be human and what role self-consciousness plays, it finds striking points of intersection between science and religion and challenges readers to rediscover their spiritual connections to the physical world.

Combining scientific rigor with the spiritual quest, A New Biology of Religion: Spiritual Practice and the Life of the Body reframes the science-religion debate. This profound work examines how all things are connected—both scientifically and spiritually—and shows how religious practices mirror the biological processes of life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Steinberg, an independent scholar and attorney, presents a lively case for revisioning one's conception of both religion and biology along non-Western (mainly Eastern) lines. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. General readers."

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Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440802843
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/31/2012
  • Pages: 221
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

I'm an independent scholar and attorney living in Rochester, New York, and I've written a good deal and published most of what I've written. I have a PhD. In intellectual history and most of my books are aimed at more scholarly readers, but I know how to write simply and directly without writing down; my short history of the Adirondack Park for young readers, Our Wilderness, was named the best individual cultural contribution to the park centennial in 1992, and Kirkus wrote that it was "gracefully written with lessons that go far beyond the local."

In what only seems to be a separate life I am an initiate in the South Indian tantric practice of Srividya and a regular devotee at a mostly-Tamil-speaking temple near my home. I see no contradiction between these two strands; my ties to Indian life give me perspective on the West and my roots in the West give me special insight into India. My writing skills, my knowledge of Western history and its philosophical traditions, and my regular practice both inside my home temple and without-all of these together give me a unique opportunity to connect West and East and rationality and devotion and to lead readers from one to the other.

My other books are:

Enlightenment Interrupted: The Lost Moment of German Idealism and the Reactionary Present. London, Zero Books, 2014.

In the Land of Temples: Notes from a South Indian Pilgrimage. Self-published, 2012.

The Fiction of a Thinkable World: Body, Meaning, and the Culture of Capitalism. New York, Monthly Review Press, 2005.

Our Wilderness: How the People of New York Found, Changed and Preserved the Adirondacks. Glens Falls, New York, Adirondack Mountain Club, 1992 (Outstanding Individual Cultural Contribution prize, Adirondack Park Centennial Commission).

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

1 Should We Abolish Religion? 1

2 Those Who Come to Mock 23

3 Getting Past Post-Christianity 45

4 Every Body Is a Mind of Its Own 69

5 I Don't Make the News, I Just Report It 89

6 Self-Awareness Is a Very Dangerous Gift 115

7 This Text Will Self-Destruct 135

8 The Body Speaks, the Mind Listens 157

9 Both Perfect and Broken 181

Index 207

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