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Series: Series in Philosophy of Religion

Catholic Neurotheology

Andrew Newberg, Thomas Jefferson University and Mary Clare Smith, Sisters of Notre Dame

ISBN: 978-1-64889-898-3
Availability: Pre-order
$86 £69 €81

The topic of “neurotheology” has garnered increasing attention in the academic, religious, scientific, and popular worlds. It is the field of study that explores the intersection between the brain and religious and spiritual phenomena. However, there have been no extensive attempts at exploring specifically how Catholic religious thought and experience may intersect with neurotheology. The purpose of The Catholic Brain is to fully engage this groundbreaking area. Topics are related to a neurotheological approach to the foundational Catholic beliefs derived from Scripture and Tradition, an exploration of the various elements of Catholicism and of Catholic rituals and practices, and a review of Catholic spiritualities and mysticism. Specific Catholic scholars are considered in terms of the relationships among their ideas/teachings and different brain processes. The Catholic Brain engages these topics in an easy-to-read style and incorporates scientific, religious, philosophical, and theological aspects of the emerging field of neurotheology. By reviewing the concepts in a stepwise, simple, yet thorough discussion, readers regardless of their background will be able to understand the complexities and breadth of neurotheology from a Catholic perspective. More broadly, issues include a review of the neurosciences and neuroscientific techniques; religious and spiritual experiences; theological development and analysis; liturgy and ritual; philosophy, epistemology, and ethics; and social implications, all from a Catholic perspective.

The theory of the kingdom: A unified model of human agency

Andrew Root

October 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-757-3
Availability: In stock
310pp. ¦ $79 £63 €74

This original monograph presents a comprehensive theory regarding the economy of the kingdom of God. The theory and associated model will help individuals make better choices. The research integrates fundamentals of the temporal real economy, and the permanent economy of the kingdom of God, to present a unified model of human agency. According to the model, effective agents are salt and light in the real economy, arresting corruption and revealing the truth. Effective agency produces life, peace, and growth. Individual and organizational practices that arrest corruption and reveal truth can resolve longstanding economic grievances. The list of spiritual credence goods is extensive and includes commonly known virtues such as humility, patience, and hope. Spiritual goods are allocated based on the owner-agent relationship. The quantity of goods the owner supplies is in proportion to an individual’s sacrificial offering of time and money. Spiritual goods are stored as heart capital. In a process analogous to the real economy, heart labor applied to heart capital produces desirable outputs. The owner relates to his agents through a heart-inscribed behavioral contract. The owner generally intervenes in the real economy by communicating with agents rather than by restricting choice. Prior studies across economics, finance, and sociology prove the efficiency of behavioral contracts and communication over restricted choice. Herein researchers will find new testable propositions, and practitioners will find new ideas and practices to live better, more consequential lives. Examples of practical applications include methods of resolving group-level bias and understanding the purpose of life’s difficulties.

Anime, Philosophy and Religion

Edited by Kaz Hayashi, Bethel University and William H. U. Anderson, Concordia University of Edmonton in Alberta

October 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-762-7
Availability: In stock
362pp. ¦ $96 £81 €89

Anime is exploding on the worldwide stage! Anime has been a staple in Japan for decades, strongly connected to manga. So why has anime become a worldwide sensation? A cursory explanation is the explosion of online streaming services specializing in anime, like Funimation and Crunchyroll. Even more general streaming services like Netflix and Amazon have gotten in on the game. Anime is exotic to Western eyes and culture. That is one of the reasons anime has gained worldwide popularity. This strange aesthetic draws the audience in only to find it is deeper and more sophisticated than its surface appearance. Japan is an honor and shame culture. Anime provides a platform to discuss “universal” problems facing human beings. It does so in an amazing variety of ways and subgenres, and often with a sense of humor. The themes, characters, stories, plotlines, and development are often complex. This makes anime a deep well of philosophical, metaphysical, and religious ideas for analysis. International scholars are represented in this book. There is a diversity of perspectives on a diversity of anime, themes, content, and analysis. It hopes to delve deeper into the complex world of anime and demonstrate why it deserves the respect of scholars and the public alike.

Miracles and the Concept of Impossibility: The Resurrection and the Shroud of Turin

Anthony Walsh, Boise State University

January 2023 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-598-2
Availability: In stock
122pp. ¦ $50 £39 €46

'Miracles and the Concept of Impossibility' takes a fresh look at the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus. A miracle is inexplicable by the methods of science and thus deemed impossible. I examine the concept of impossibility with primary reference to David Hume’s notion that there is a boundary of probability beyond which the improbable becomes the impossible, calculated at 10150. Physicists have declared that the universe is inevitable and, at the same time, impossible. Its inevitability is obvious, but the mind-boggling improbability that a biocentric universe exists vastly exceeds the probability boundary. If a miracle is defined as an impossibility, the universe is a miracle. The origin of life is just as miraculously impossible because the probability of dead organic molecules evolving into the organic molecules of life is even less than it is for the existence of the universe. This book also looks at what the Resurrection means in terms of the atonement and the concepts of hell and universal salvation. This is followed by an examination of the evidence for the Resurrection and historical and archaeological reasons for trusting the New Testament. Secular explanations of the Resurrection are examined and pitted against the Christian account in terms of their explanatory scope and power. The last two chapters look at the “silent witness” to the resurrection, the Shroud of Turin bearing the image of a terribly tortured and crucified man. For 125 years, scientists have been unable to discover how the image was imprinted on the cloth; thus, I conclude that it is the “silent witness” to the Resurrection—the authentic Shroud of Jesus Christ.

The Anthropic Principle: A Universe Built for Man

Anthony Walsh, Boise State University

October 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-524-1
Availability: In stock
180pp. ¦ $63 £50 €58

The Copernican Principle states that humankind is an insignificant assemblage of chemical scum living on an accidental planet in a suburb of a purposeless universe. Many prominent scientists, including Nobel laureate physicists, have questioned this scurrilous principle, which has led physicists to propose the Anthropic Principle. This principle posits a purposeful link between the structure of the universe and the existence of humankind and its specialness. The numerous features of the universe are so freakishly fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent life that physicists are beginning to come to grips with the notion that our universe is profoundly purposeful and that there is a powerful and incredibly intelligent Mind behind it all.

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