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Whatever Happened to the Soul? Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature Paperback


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Whatever Happened to the Soul?  Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature + Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies? (Current Issues in Theology) + Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible (Studies in Theological Interpretation)
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Product Details

  • Series: Theology & the Sciences
  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; First Edition edition (November 4, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800631412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800631413
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #345,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Warren S. Brown is Professor of Psychology at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, Pasadena, California, and Adjunct Professor at UCLA's School of Medicine.

Nancey Murphy is Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary.

H. Newton Malony is Senior Professor of Psychology Emeritus and teaches at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Contributor: Ray S. Anderson, Professor of Theology and Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Soul of Ministry: Forming Leaders for God's People (1997), Self Care: A Theology of Personal Empowerment and Spiritual Healing (1995), and On Being Human: Essays in Theological Anthropology (1992).

V. Elving Anderson , Professor Emeritus of Genetics at the University of Minnesota, is past president of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, and other scientific societies. He has published articles and contributed to books on genetic factors in human behavioral problems and breast cancer and on ethical issues in genetics and other areas of biology. His current research interest is gene mapping in epilepsy.

Francisco J. Ayala , Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, is a member of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. He has been president and chairman of the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published twelve books and more than 600 papers on evolutionary biology and the philosophy of science.

Warren S. Brown Jr. is Professor in the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary and Director of the Lee Edward Travis Institute for Biopsychosocial Research. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and a member of the UCLA Brain Research Institute. He has published numerous scientific articles on brain function and higher cognitive processes in humans.

Joel B. Green , Associate Dean and Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary, is the author or editor of thirteen books, including most recently The Gospel of Luke in the International Commentary on the New Testament series (1997). Until recently, he served on the faculty of the American Baptist Seminary of the West/Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley.

Malcolm Jeeves is president of the Royal Society of Edinburg, Scotland's National Academy of Science and Letters, and Honorary Research Professor of Psychology, University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Formerly editor-in-chief of Neuropsychologia, past chairman of the International Neuropsychological Symposium, he is author of many scientific papers on neuropsychology as well as books relating science and Christian beliefs. Recent works include Mind Fields (1994), Human Nature at the Millennium (1997), and Science, Life and Christian Belief (with R. J. Berry) (1998).

H. Newton Malony is Senior Professor in the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he was director of programs in the integration of psychology and theology for many years. He has written widely on the implications of findings in the social/behavioral/physical sciences for the tasks of counseling and ministry. In his dual professional role as an ordained United Methodist minister, he has been interested in the implications of these matters for pastoral work as well as professional functioning.

Nancey Murphy is Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley, California. Her recent books include Anglo-American Postmodernity (1997), On the Moral Nature of the Universe: Theology, Cosmology, and Ethics (with G. F. R. Ellis, 1996), and Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism (1996).

Stephen G. Post is Professor of Biomedical Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion at Case Western Reserve University. His book The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease (1995) deals systematically with questions of theology and the human self. He was associate editor of the five-volume Encyclopedia of Bioethics (second edition, 1995). Post holds his doctorate from the University of Chicago Divinity School in theology and ethics.

Customer Reviews

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Overall, I thought the book was well written and thought provoking.
Reader From Aurora
It is a good collection of experts in theological, scientific, and philosophical fields that are not trying to push materialism onto you and call it Christianity.
"enochsroad"
Yes, my pastoral colleagues, science I could understand and enjoy, as well as sink my teeth into.
(Wesley Dunbar) dunbar@midrivers.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
It is unlikely that those who gave this book poor reviews understood the book at all. In fact, this book is NOT an attack on Christianity, and furthermore, several contributors to this volume are prominent theological scholars. Contrary to others' opinions, the authors take a non-reductive physicalist approach to human consciousness, rather than a purely materialistic view. The contention of the authors is merely that human consciousness is a physical entity; not some undetectable, supernatural phenomenon. Critics subsequently concluded that this contention equalled a disbelief in God. I beg to differ.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Meredith B. Handspicker on November 14, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finally! Here is a book which combines sound biblical research, solid contemporary life sciences, well-reasoned philosophy, and rich theological construction. The authors describe the consonance between good biblically based theology and contemporary science in developing what they call nonreductive physicalist Christian anthropology. This book will be BASIC to sound contemporary theology in this area. Reading it is liberating, exciting, and affirming of the unity of faith and reason, religion and science, piety and devotion to learning. BUY IT, but above all READ IT.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By (Wesley Dunbar) dunbar@midrivers.com on February 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the way books need to be written which integrate two different disciplines. A variety of authors from diverse areas of expertise which addressed a single issue. The arguement is well focused from beginning to end and each contributor genuinely interacted with the others. Finally we have a contemporary, intelligent book that deals a fatal blow to the banal notion of personhood as duality, and its more popular heresy, the immortality of the soul. As a pastor this academic volume has proven fruitful in teaching, preaching, writing and counseling. Yes, my pastoral colleagues, science I could understand and enjoy, as well as sink my teeth into. Yes, my scientific friends, theology with integrity, honesty and an appreciation for others contribution to an important topic.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "enochsroad" on January 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
People who have actually studied philosophy and are tired of hearing people rave on and on about saving "souls" can read this for direction and sound arguments. It is a good collection of experts in theological, scientific, and philosophical fields that are not trying to push materialism onto you and call it Christianity. These are seminary professors and Christian scholars who have done their homework and are trying to make the corrections necessary to share the faith in today's world. It accentuates religion's key characteristic of a new life in Christ. Makes a great partner to William James' "Varieties of Religious Experience." Theological Anthropology is much overlooked today, and Christians are taking flack. You do not have to believe in evolution, but you cannot deny modern neuroscience and psychology. This book delineates how that can be done.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Reader From Aurora on December 11, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Edited by Brown, Murphy and Maloney `What Ever Happened to the Soul' is a collection of inter-related essays regarding contemporary thought in the area of cognitive science as it pertains to the concept of the human soul.

Much recent work in the field of neurology points to an increasing correlation between the physical and the mental. Though work in this area is embryonic and far from definitive, it does raises important theological and philosophical questions. In particular, how does this growing physical-mental relationship impact the classic theistic view of man? In popular writing the mind-body issue has traditionally been framed as a dichotomy between either Cartesian substance dualism (brain and soul interact but are distinct substances) or reductive materialism (ultimately everything can be reduced to physics). Both of these approaches have there challenges.

With regard to dualism, the oft-cited question of how two distinct substances interact is not as troublesome to me as the implications of an increasing correlation between the physical brain and the mind (soul) - e.g. impact of injury, disease and the genetic-personality link. Despite dualism's difficulties, however, reductive materialism is even less satisfactory. For example, reductionism fails to account for free will, the nature of consciousness or the veracity of rationality - not minor problems.

The current text argues for what is known as non-reductive materialism. In this model, the soul is tied to the brain but an emergent quality that is not explainable by reductionism. I find this approach to have its own challenges. On the positive side the authors do a good job of dispelling the overstated popular conception of Christianity as necessarily entailing Cartesian dualism.
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