Toward a Sacred Brain

Perhaps no field of biology evokes the fear of loss of the sacred more than neuroscience, the biology of the brain. Yet sacredness and meaning pervade the musings of many neuroscientists. How do we understand the brain in a way that promotes enchantment, and not disenchantment, in day-to-day life?

The New Theory Versus the Old Story

The idea of an inbuilt drive to care and love is really nothing new, of course. It's only new to us in trying to scientifically grope our way out of what became the prison of the old scientific mindset into the liberation of a new world allied as friend rather than enemy to spirituality.

Nature Has a Mind of Its Own

What's the greatest mystery facing every person on the planet? Ultimately, it's some version of the age-old "Where do I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going?" So far, no one has a satisfactory explanation for the existence of nonphysical minds in this otherwise physical universe.

The Presence of Living Organisms

It is possible that the plant as a living and vital presence responds to the warmth and radiance of the sunlight and turns toward it responsively. This interpretation, which I favor, understands the plant as a spiritual-material unity rather than reducing the plant to the materialist dimension that is visible to the detached, scientific eye.

The Responsibility of Theology to Science

Artists who create icons and sacred music often describe their activity as a form of prayer. I think too that if nature is understood, in some sense, as the work of God, then seeking to discover the ways of nature through science might also be experienced as a form of prayer.

A Spiritual Approach to Evolution

Don't worry, we are not about to join the creationists with their rejection of evolution and insistence that God planted all those dinosaur bones to test your faith. The fact is that most liberals and progressives, in fact, most people who have completed high school, have been heavily indoctrinated into the dominant religion of this historical period, the religion of scientism, and as can be expected, will feel deeply uneasy -- if not feeling that they are outright disloyal -- if they consider the possibility that another worldview is not only possible but plausible.

Middle East Peace Negotiations?

Instead of playing to each side's elites, those who seek peace must launch a broad educational campaign to reach ordinary Israelis and Palestinians with a message that says, here are the terms of a fair peace agreement and here is why we believe that if each side makes the necessary compromises, it will work to meet your best interests.

Will Obama Stop Betraying His Progressive Base?

Sometime in mid-September 2010, President Obama suddenly discovered that twenty months of governing by capitulation to the very mainstream ideas he campaigned against in 2008 was a losing strategy. But instead of acknowledging his errors, he acted as though his liberal and progressive base were betraying him.

Suicidal vs. Life-Giving Religious Narratives

I was invited to reflect here on the topic of "spiritual visions for social healing," under the general heading of "creating a caring society," but first, I'd like to turn the topic upside-down to look at religious visions for social suicide.