"...a well-written book that contains a broad range of interesting topics...very readable and the information is well referenced." -- Rationalist & Humanist, Summer 2001
From the Inside Flap
Do you believe your soul will survive after you die? Do you even believe you HAVE a soul? Many people devote their lives to caring for their souls and preparing for an afterlife. Others doubt souls exist. For questioners, the local experts on souls are usually ministers, priests, or rabbis. Not surprisingly, spiritual counselors almost always believe in various spirits, including some kind of supernatural soul. But given what we now know about the brain, psychology, and body chemistry, the skeptic may well ask what meaning or relevance this medieval term can possibly have today.
Physicist Jerome W. Elbert takes up this intriguing issue in his informative yet accessible study. He points out that many contemporary dilemmas have much to do with whether or not we posit the existence of a soul -- for example, the question of free will and the debate over abortion. Reviewing the ancient origins of the soul concept, Elbert looks at Christian beliefs and pagan parallels, and then considers how the advance of science has changed our fundamental understanding of the brain and consciousness. He shows how these new scientific insights inevitably affect our traditional ideas about the soul.
For anyone who is at all uncertain, ARE SOULS REAL? offers an alternative to the views of a spiritual advisor. Various experts, from biblical scholars to neuroscientists, have gathered information that allows soul beliefs to be judged more skeptically. This book brings these conclusions together, offering a new perspective on whether supernatural souls really exist.
Insightful and absorbing, ARE SOULS REAL? is popular science writing at its best.