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
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