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Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible (Studies in Theological Interpretation) Paperback – July 1, 2008
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"If you think nothing new ever happens in theology or biblical studies, you need to read this book, an essay in 'neuro-hermeneutics.' Green shows not only that a physicalist (as opposed to a dualist) anthropology is consistent with biblical teaching but also that contemporary neuroscience sheds light on significant hermeneutical and theological questions."--Nancey Murphy, Fuller Theological Seminary
"Joel Green serves as the vanguard of interdisciplinary research on this topic. No one combines the requisite background in theology, biblical studies, and the natural sciences as adeptly as Green, and with the critical thinking needed to move along the interstices of these disciplines. Indeed, he succeeds at closing the gaps between these disciplines. This 'progress report' is another timely and welcome contribution from Professor Green."--Bill T. Arnold, Asbury Theological Seminary
"In this outstanding work, the author provides a scholarly and thoroughly biblical analysis of human personhood in dialogue with the neurosciences. This book is likely to provide the definitive overview of this topic for many years to come."--Denis R. Alexander, director, The Faraday Institute, St. Edmund's College
"Some are students of the Bible. Others are students of neuroscience. Joel Green is both and more. In Body, Soul, and Human Life, he helps us listen more attentively both to the Bible and to the unfolding music of the neurosciences. What you hear may surprise you. Far from telling different and irreconcilable stories about human nature, Joel Green helps us to see that these two sources--the Bible and the neurosciences--actually tell mutually enriching and complementary stories about what it means to be fully human and fully alive. I heartily recommend it!"--Kevin Corcoran, Calvin College
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One section in the book that especially intrigued me involved the mechanics and nature of change or personal transformation; namely, "persons and not parts of persons" are transformed (p 115). Green would likely put forth that when persons experience change, the brain changes and vice versa. This is not to reduce persons to mere brain states, neurons, or what have you, but it is to say that brains are involved and indeed impacted by behavior and vice versa. Persons are units or one integrated whole, not merely a composite of blended though distinct parts, thus change or transformation affects and effects the whole person.
Illustrating that "neural transformation in response to environmental factors" intersect, he appeals to the now famous and fascinating study of the London taxi-drivers to show that "day-to-day activities induce changes in the morphology of the brain" (p 116). This factor alone has been teased out in relation to spiritual transformation by the formidable N. T. Wright (see my "<a href="http://inchristus.com/2013/08/07/habituation-and-life-in-the-spirit/">Habituation and Life in the Spirit</a>").
Not only does the brain participate in our transformation but so also does our social conditioning have a significant impact.Read more ›