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Invisible Forces and Powerful Beliefs: Gravity, Gods, and Minds

By The Chicago Social Brain Netwo

Published by FT Press

Published Date: Oct 4, 2010


Can religion and science co-exist? Do they? Is religion hardwired in humans? The book, from the Chicago Social Brain Network, is the result of an extraordinary ongoing conversation among a group of highly respected scientists, physicians, philosophers, and theologians. Together, they share profound insights into the deepest questions humans ask and explore the invisible forces and powerful beliefs that shape our lives. Their insights reflect both humanity's latest science and its most enduring wisdom. Their answers and questions will challenge readers and reward them with a richer understand of who we are, what we share, and what it means.

  • What do we really know about human nature?
  • How do we see what we see, know what we know, feel what we feel?
  • How do people come to believe in God?
  • Where does empathy come from?
  • What are the health benefits of faith?
  • Where do you end, and others begin?
  • What do marriage, family, and friendship mean?
  • How can people repair the broken connections that keep them lonely?

Table of Contents

Preface      xi

1            Invisible forces operating on human bodies      1

2            The social nature of humankind       17

3            Science, religion, and a revived religious humanism       35

4            Health by connection: from social brains to resilient bodies       49

5            Psychosomatic relations: from superstition to mortality       61

6            The suspension of individual consciousness and the dissolution of self and other boundaries      73

7            Action at a distance: the invisible force of language      83

8            Hidden forces in understanding others: mirror neurons and neurobiological underpinnings      95

9            Empathy and interpersonal sensitivity      109

10          Seeing invisible minds      121

11          Anthropomorphism: human connection to a universal society      133

12          How does God become real?      145

13          Theological perspectives on God as an invisible force      157

14          Visible efforts to change invisible connections      171

15          Social brain, spiritual medicine?      185

16          Epilogue      197

About the authors      207

Index      209


Invisible Forces and Powerful Beliefs: Gravity, Gods, and Minds

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