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The Writer: Raised Catholic, educated as a physician, one-time teacher of TM, academic investigator in complimentary and alternative medicine, and of course published author, Anthony Campbell writes and blogs as his "contribution to keeping alive the values of the Enlightenment."
The Book: Anthony Campbell gave the rather challenging title of "Totality Beliefs and the Religious Imagination" to what is really a most readable autobiography, a story, during which he shares a remarkable depth and breadth of knowledge and a distillation of his personal philosophy. We read biographies not just as non-fiction "stories", but also in hopes of finding something about ourselves as much as the subject of the biography, and Campbell's story is one in which many will find a mirror, reflecting, and perhaps rendering more clear, their own thoughts about this life.
Documenting his journey from Catholicism to athiesm, with a long side trip to TM and a short one to Hinduism and Buddhism, Campbell shares with great frankness his wrong turns and blind alleys encountered on his way to abandoning, with some releif, the supernatural beliefs which he, as most of us, had been asked to accept unquestioningly from his youth.
Campbell is not one of the storm troopers of athiesm such as Richard Dawkins, and even though an ardent skeptic, he acknowledges that this is a strange world indeed, and there are undoubtedly many thing we are simply incapable of understanding, at least yet. He rejects "revealed" knowledge and religious institutions ardently, but gently. The book ends not with all the answers, but with a better understanding of life and perhaps a better plan for whatever is left.
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