By Tiger, LionelBy McGuire, Michael
Two distinguished authors, renowned anthropologist Lionel Tiger and pioneering neuroscientist Michael McGuire, elucidate the perennial questions about religion: What is its purpose? How did it arise? What is its source? Why does every known culture have some form of it? Their ans...wer is deceptively simple, yet at the same time highly complex: The brain creates religion and its varied concepts of God, and then in turn feeds on its creation to satisfy innate neurological and associated social needs. Brain science reveals that humans and other primates alike are afflicted by unavoidable sources of stress that the authors describe as -brainpain.- To cope with this affliction people seek to -brainsoothe.- We humans use religion and its social structures to induce brainsoothing as a relief for innate anxiety. How we do this is the subject of this groundbreaking book. In a concise, lively, accessible, and witty style, the authors combine zoom-lens vignettes of religious practices with discussions of the latest research on religion's neurological effects on the brain. Among other topics, they consider religion's role in providing positive socialization, its seeming obsession with regulating sex, the common biological scaffolding between nonhuman primates and humans and how this affects religion, and evidence that the palliative effects of religion on brain chemistry are not matched by nonreligious remedies. This fascinating book provides key insights into the complexities of our brain and the role of religion, perhaps its most remarkable creation.Read more
Lionel Tiger (New York, NY) is the bestselling author of ten books, including Men in Groups, The Imperial Animal (with Robin Fox), The Pursuit of Pleasure, Optimism: The Biology of Hope, and The Decline of Males. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Harvard Business Review, and Brain and Behavioral Science. He is the Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at Rutgers University. Michael McGuire, MD (1929-2016), was the author or editor of ten books, including Believing: The Neuroscience of Fantasies, Fears, and Convictions and Darwinian Psychiatry (with A. Troisi). He was the president of the Biomedical Research Foundation, director of the Bradshaw Foundation and the Gruter Institute of Law and Behavior, and a trustee of the International Society of Human Ethology. Formerly, he had been a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the University of California at Los Angeles and editor of Ethology and Sociobiology.
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