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About this product
- DescriptionIn our current era of holy terror, passionate faith has come to seem like a present danger. Writers such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens have been happy to throw the baby out with the bathwater and declare that the danger is in religion itself. God, Hitchens writes, is t great. But man, according to George E. Vaillant, M.D., is great. In Spiritual Evolution, Dr. Vaillant lays out a brilliant defense t of organized religion but of man s inherent spirituality. Our spirituality, he shows, resides in our uniquely human brain design and in our innate capacity for emotions like love, hope, joy, forgiveness, and compassion, which are selected for by evolution and located in a different part of the brain than dogmatic religious belief. Evolution has made us spiritual creatures over time, he argues, and we are destined to become even more so. Spiritual Evolution makes the scientific case for spirituality as a positive force in human evolution, and he predicts for our species an even more loving future. Vaillant traces this positive force in three different kinds of evolution: the natural selection of genes over millennia, of course, but also the cultural evolution within recorded history of ideas about the value of human life, and the development of spirituality within the lifetime of each individual. For thirty-five years, Dr. Vaillant directed Harvard s famous longitudinal study of adult development, which has followed hundreds of men over seven decades of life. The study has yielded important insights into human spirituality, and Dr. Vaillant has drawn on these and on a range of psychological research, behavioral studies, and neuroscience, and on history, anecdote, and quotation to produce a book that is at once a work of scientific argument and a lyrical meditation on what it means to be human. Spiritual Evolution is a life s work, and it will restore our belief in faith as an essential human striving.
- Author BiographyGeorge E. Vaillant, M.D., is a psychoanalyst and a research psychiatrist, one of the pioneers in the study of adult development. He is a professor at Harvard University and directed Harvard s Study of Adult Development for thirty-five years. He is the author of Aging Well and The Natural History of Alcoholism, and his 1977 book, Adaptation to Life, is a classic text in the study of adult development. He lives in Boston; East Thetford, Vermont; and Victoria, Australia.
- Author(s)George Vaillant
- PublisherBroadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc)
- Date of Publication01/05/2008
- SubjectReligion: Comparative, General & Reference
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintBroadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc)
- Out-of-print date25/08/2014
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations, figures
- Weight454 g
- Width166 mm
- Height236 mm
- Spine24 mm
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