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The Marriage of Sense and Soul

Integrating Science and Religion

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Description

There is arguably no more critical and pressing topic than the relation of science and religion in the modern world. Science has given us the methods for discovering truth, while religion remains the single greatest force for generating meaning. Yet the two are seen as mutually exclusive, with wrenching consequences for humanity. In The Marriage of Sense and Soul, one of today's most important philosophers brilliantly articulates how we might begin to think about science and religion in ways that allow for their reconciliation and union, on terms that will be acceptable to both camps.
        Ken Wilber is widely acclaimed as the foremost thinker in integrating Western psychology and the Eastern spiritual traditions. His many books have reached across disciplines and synthesized the teachings of religion, psychology, physics, mysticism, sociology, and anthropology, earning him a devoted international following. The Marriage of Sense and Soul is his most accessible work yet, aimed at guiding a general audience to the mutual accord between the spiritual, subjective world of ancient wisdom and the objective, empirical world of modern knowledge.
        Wilber clearly and succinctly explores the schism between science and religion, and the impact of this "philosophical Cold War" on the fate of humanity. He systematically reviews previous attempts at integration, explaining why romantic, idealistic, and postmodern theories failed. And he demonstrates how science is compatible with certain deep features common to all of the world's major religious traditions. In pointing the way to a union between truth and meaning, Ken Wilber has created an elegant and accessible book that is breathtaking in its scope.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 02, 1998 – Ever since the Copernican revolution, the battle lines between science and religion have been drawn. In succeeding generations, science and religion have been depicted as two cultural juggernauts slugging it out to establish their ideas as the dominant worldview. In his new book, Wilber (A Brief History of Everything) contends that attempts to reconcile science (sense) and religion (soul) have failed because scholars have not taken into account the fundamental differences between the two. Science, he argues, is a product of modernity characterized by differentiation--a spiritless materialism. Religion, on the other hand, is a product of a premodern worldview less enamored of a portrait of reality (viewed as so much soulless matter) and characterized by an emphasis on humanity's connection to a spiritual dimension. Using A.O. Lovejoy's idea of the Great Chain of Being, Wilber fashions what he calls "the Great Nest of Being" in which soul, body, matter, mind and spirit intersect and coalesce. Imitating Plato's scheme of realms of truth, knowledge and reality, Wilber divides his Great Nest into four quadrants, each of which has a subjective, objective, intersubjective and interobjective dimension. Wilber contends that this scheme of unity-in-diversity provides the key to integrating science and religion. As ambitious as it is, Wilber's study is filled with simplistic generalizations ("Modern science and premodern religion aggressively inhabit the same globe, each vying, in its own way, for world domination") and mushy quasi-romantic pronouncements ("Art is the Beauty of Spirit/ Art is in the eye of the beholder, in the I of the beholder: Art is the I of the Spirit."). Moreover, in order to marry sense and soul, Wilber does violence to science by representing it in terms of spirit rather than on its own terms. Wilber's attempt to integrate science and religion is far surpassed by physicist Ian Barbour's trenchant Religion and Science.
The Marriage of Sense and Soul
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Science & Nature
  • Published: Mar 24, 1998
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 240 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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