Cover Image: Thinking About Religion in the 21st Century

Thinking About Religion in the 21st Century

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Member Reviews

This is a book that everyone would do well to read. The first eight chapters deserve five stars, but the remaining five chapters would earn only three stars. Where the author goes off track is with his analysis of quantum physics and human consciousness, where he draws some significance from science's current inability to fully explain these two ideas. Thus, when science accomplishes these two tasks it will leave a big hole in Mr. Adams theory.
He also gives great weight to free will, an idea that most scholars have dismissed, and he addressed the concept of human suffering in an incomplete manner. the fact that good may outweigh evil is not a basis for faith.
The real issues are that thoughtful people cannot accept traditional religious ideas since that almost always run afoul of scientific truth, what is telling is that religiosity has been a part of every human civilization is that each has developed faith which is therefore most likely adaptive. Such a universal cultural aspect must, therefore, have been important to human development.

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I appreciate the large scope of this book and the ambitious nature of the topic and I applaud the author for attempting such a feat. I have a background in world religions and am a practicing Presbyterian so I am not the target audience for this work, but I can nevertheless comment on it. The writing style is very straightforward and readable despite the many complex ideas discussed. While I appreciate the arguments presented in trying to convince the 21st century secular human to open their mind to the possibility of a new religion, I’m not sure how convincing they would be. I found the chapters on consciousness and quantum physics very interesting and thought-provoking. My major issue with the author’s argument is the assumption that religion evolves which is implicit in the pre-Axial/Axial/post-Axial Age theory of religion. I would guess that many people who practice pre-Axial age religious traditions (the native peoples who live in my state of New Mexico, for instance) would not agree that their religious traditions are less evolved than say, Christianity, and in fact, I think many people would say that the Axial Age religions have contributed greatly to the alienation of the human from their environment, leading to the destruction of our earth - clearly not a positive evolutionary trend. Despite this, I would definitely recommend this book to thoughtful people who are interested in religion, science, and the future of humanity.

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In America, there is a large proportion of the population who wants to do with religion or spirituality. They iunderstand reality ònly in terms of secular materialismñ time. Space and energy. The question that this book tackled, if spiritual reality Is due solely to human imagination and speculation.. where did the notion of spirituality come from originally. Discusses various philosophical issues such as the myth of scientific materialism. consciousness, moral goodness, the nature of religious experiences, th question of suffering and meaning. Referencee.

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