Is a belief in the supernatural because of an evolutionarily-ingrained need to create meaning?Read More
Jungian analyst Michael Gellert, in his new book The Divine Mind: Exploring the Psychological History of God's Inner Journey, sifts through the Old Testament, the Talmud, the New Testament, the Koran, and the Hadith in order to trace the mental and moral growth of the central character, the God of the three Abrahamic religions. The goal of The Divine Mind is to make some sense out of the figure Richard Dawkins refers to as “the most unpleasant character in all fiction”; in these pages, Gellert is asking the same question Scriptural scholars have asked all the way back to Saint Augustine and that believers have been asking in one phrasing or another since Adam and Eve were bustled out of the Garden of Eden: “What is it with this Guy?”Read More
In Thornton Wilder’s powerful and subversive masterpiece Our Town, Mrs. Gibbs of provincial little Grover’s Corners holds forth on the wider world: “It seems to me,” she says, “once in your life, before you die, you ought to see a country where they don‘t speak any English and they don‘t even want to.” The line is delivered with just the slightest undertone of incredulity, of disbelief that such a place could really exist.
If she could get past the dozens of entirely spurious mathematical equations and the apparently requisite acid-trip visuals, Mrs. Gibbs would feel right at home in Douglas Hofstadter’s new book, I Am a Strange Loop. Certainly the book’s tone of unquestioning self-satisfaction would help her along.