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"...a cut above the crowd...a terse introduction to the key ideas emerging in current psychology of religion,..." -- The Ernest Becker Foundation Newsletter, April 2005
"...amazing book...explosive and important." -- Statesman Journal, December 5, 2004
"...intriguing, entertaining, hard-hitting read, a thought-provoking book that will make a fine companion to Freud's work on religion...Essential." -- Choice, March 2005
"...very interesting reading..." -- Bookviews.com, December 2004
Throughout the centuries, many people have conceived of supernatural beings - angels are a common example - as entities that intervene in the believer's time of need, to show that he or she is personally loved and not alone in the universe; this holds true even for those who feel abandoned or forgotten by the human world. Though some influential thinkers have attempted to suppress or banish such notions, belief in the supernatural has always resurfaced and persists to this day, not only in organized religion but also in the thriving literature - and booming industry - of New Age belief systems. Shouldn't the persistence of such a belief throughout the ages serve as a solid anecdotal support for the existence of supernatural beings? Or is there a better, simpler explanation - one that comes from our own memories?
In this insightful new study, M. D. Faber, whose previous work in the psychology of religion has won widespread critical acclaim, offers a comprehensive, naturalistic explanation of religious experience from the intertwining perspectives of neuroscience and developmental psychology. Faber argues that belief in God, the powerful sensation of His presence, and the heartfelt assent of the reality of the supernatural are all produced by the mind-brain's inherent tendency to discover in religious narrative a striking, memorial echo of its own biological development. Although Faber maintains that we are not "wired" specifically for God (as many contend), our brain is so constructed as to make us profoundly susceptible to religious myths. The psychological origins of this susceptibility may be far more earthly and physical than many would suspect.
A key point of Faber's analysis is the connection between the onset of infantile amnesia during childhood's later years and the evocative power of religious mythology. This connection, claims the author, is the unconscious emotional powerhouse that ultimately engenders and sustains religious belief. To support his argument, Faber cites the work of William James, William Wordsworth, Robert Browning, and Carl Jung; testimonies of several contemporary witnesses of an angelic presence; and relevant studies from the field of developmental psychology.
In an age of religious turmoil and international terrorism linked to religious zeal, it is more important than ever to gain a rational, scientific understanding of religious motivations. Faber's insights help us realize why religious conflicts often spill over into violence. When a believer's religion is challenged, the challenge resounds at deep, unconscious levels where primal parental attachments reside.
Sure to be controversial, this pioneering, highly original work takes the reader to the neurological-psychological bedrock of religious experience.See all Editorial Reviews
The psychodynamics of religion and mystical experience. Makes sense.Published 10 months ago by Nicholas Andrew
Though the book I've read by Faber is Objectivity and Human Perception--I can't find it on Amazon to review, this book seems to be along the same lines. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kindle Customer
Interesting thesis, but the text was overly wordy, repetitive and an overuse of quote marks. The author could have made his point in half the pages.Published 20 months ago by Roger Morris
Well written with the general public in mind. The author touches on the deep psychological underpinings of religious belief.Published on January 20, 2008 by E. King