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Minds, Brains, Souls and Gods: A Conversation on Faith, Psychology and Neuroscience

Publisher:
, 2013
ISBN: 9780830895625

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Overview

The field of psychology, and especially neuropsychology, can be daunting for Christian students trying to find their way. In the face of surprising new research and radical new theories, it is tempting to limit the integration of Christianity and psychology to relatively “safe” topics that one can easily differentiate from matters of faith. In Minds, Brains, Souls and Gods, the highly esteemed professor of psychology, Malcolm Jeeves, insists on addressing the difficult questions head-on.

  • Do I have a soul?
  • How free am I?
  • What makes me uniquely human?
  • Does my brain have a “God spot”?

In this hypothetical correspondence with a student, Jeeves argues that we must avoid false choices in the relation between Scripture and science. Christians need not choose between a "God of the gaps" that competes with science, a "neurotheology" that bases our understanding of God on the latest scientific theory, or a scientific reductionism that claims to have explained God away as a mere function of the brain. Students encountering the brave new world of neuroscience need not view such research as a threat to the faith. With the wisdom of a seasoned scholar, Jeeves guides us down the road less-traveled—the way of integration.

Resource Experts
  • Presents a hypothetical correspondence with a student
  • Explores choices in the relation between Scripture and science
  • Addresses common questions and difficulties
  • What Is Psychology, and How Should We Approach It?
  • What Is the Relationship Between the Mind and Brain?
  • How Free Am I? Free Will and Determinism
  • Determinism, Genetics and the “God Gene”
  • Have Benjamin Libet?s Experiments Exploded the Free-Will Myth?
  • But Is It All in the Brain? The Emergence of Social Neuroscience
  • But What About the Soul?
  • If I Don’t Have an Immortal Soul, What Makes Me Human?
  • Don’t Parapsychology and Near-Death Experiences Prove the Existence of the Soul?
  • Are Humans Different? What About Morality in Animals?
  • What Is the Difference Between Altruism, Altruistic Love and Agape?
  • Does Language Uniquely Define Us As Humans?
  • Does My Brain Have a “God Spot”?
  • Does God Guide and Direct Us?
  • Does Neuropsychology Have Anything to Offer Psychotherapy and Counseling?
  • Are Religious Beliefs the Twenty-First-Century Opium of the People? What About Placebo Effects?
  • What About Spirituality? Is It in the Soul or the Brain?
  • Can Science “Explain Away” Religion?
  • Where Next? Taking Stock
No one is better qualified to lead a conversation on Christian faith, psychology and neuroscience than Malcolm Jeeves. As lecturer, author and practitioner, he has been central to the discussion for decades, and he brings to this book uncommon wisdom, practical insight and a rare combination of expertise and humility. For anyone interested in what recent innovations in brain science might contribute to our understanding of what it means to be human, this is a must-read.

—Joel B. Green, Fuller Theological Seminary, author of Bodies, Souls, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible

This is a bold, timely, remarkable and impressive book. No one should doubt its colossal and up-to-date learning in psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary theory and cognate fields. What makes it especially remarkable is the combination of all this with a sober, realistic and accurate understanding of many biblical passages and theological doctrines. The book engages with many issues that impinge on Christian faith: the existence of the ‘soul,’ determinism and freedom, altruism, divine guidance, reductionism, evolutionary theory, genetics and a host of such issues. The style, on top of all this, is extremely readable, and is modeled on the dialogical correspondence of C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters and Letters to Malcolm. However, these are genuine questions, not hypothetical ones, based largely on real questions raised by Christian psychology students at Hope College (Holland, Michigan) and elsewhere. The upshot is that in the search for truth, Prof. Jeeves argues, there is no conflict between psychology or neuroscience and Christian belief or theology. These are not competitors but complementary ways of approaching truth. This book avoids any bland generalization and patiently explores each source of concern as raised by students. It conveys the careful Christian thought of a dedicated academic career of well over half a century. It has extensive bibliographies. I have no hesitation in warmly and unreservedly commending this marvelous book.

—Anthony C. Thiselton, emeritus professor of Christian theology, University of Nottingham

  • Title: Minds, Brains, Souls and Gods: A Conversation on Faith, Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Author: Malcolm Jeeves
  • Publisher: IVP
  • Print Publication Date: 2013
  • Logos Release Date: 2018
  • Pages: 219
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Neurosciences › Religious aspects--Christianity; Psychology and religion; Psychology, Religious
  • ISBNs: 9780830895625, 0830895620
  • Resource ID: LLS:9780830895625
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-29T03:25:11Z

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Malcolm Jeeves (CBE, Hon. DSc, FRSE) is emeritus professor of psychology at the University of St. Andrews, where he established the department of psychology in 1969. He was formerly president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and editor-in-chief of the journal, Neuropsychologia. He was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1992 for his services to science and to psychology in Britain. He is the author most recently of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Religion: Illusions, Delusions, and Realities about Human Nature (with Warren S. Brown), published in 2009 by Templeton Press.

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    $15.99

    Digital list price: $21.99
    Save $6.00 (27%)