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Invisible Forces and Powerful Beliefs: Gravity, Gods, and Minds

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Invisible Forces and Powerful Beliefs: Gravity, Gods, and Minds


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Join the quest to understand the profound invisible forces and powerful beliefs that shape human life  

  • Synthesizes an extraordinary five-year long conversation about humanity's deepest questions, by a group of highly respected scientists, physicians, philosophers, and theologians.
  • Beyond "science vs. religion" wars: insights that draw on the latest research and enduring wisdom.
  • Answers and questions that point to a richer understanding of who we are, what we share, and what it means.


  • Copyright 2011
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-707545-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-707545-4

Can religion and science co-exist? Do they? Is religion hardwired in humans? The book, from the Chicago Social Brain Network, is the result of an extraordinary ongoing conversation among a group of highly respected scientists, physicians, philosophers, and theologians. Together, they share profound insights into the deepest questions humans ask and explore the invisible forces and powerful beliefs that shape our lives. Their insights reflect both humanity's latest science and its most enduring wisdom. Their answers and questions will challenge readers and reward them with a richer understand of who we are, what we share, and what it means.

  • What do we really know about human nature?
  • How do we see what we see, know what we know, feel what we feel?
  • How do people come to believe in God?
  • Where does empathy come from?
  • What are the health benefits of faith?
  • Where do you end, and others begin?
  • What do marriage, family, and friendship mean?
  • How can people repair the broken connections that keep them lonely?

Sample Content

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Invisible Forces Operating on Human Bodies: Gravity, Gods, and Minds

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Table of Contents

Preface     xi

1          Invisible forces operating on human bodies    1

2          The social nature of humankind    17

3          Science, religion, and a revived religious humanism    35

4          Health by connection: from social brains to resilient bodies    49

5          Psychosomatic relations: from superstition to mortality    61

6          The suspension of individual consciousness and the dissolution of self and other boundaries    73

7          Action at a distance: the invisible force of language    83

8          Hidden forces in understanding others: mirror neurons and neurobiological underpinnings    95

9          Empathy and interpersonal sensitivity    109

10        Seeing invisible minds    121

11        Anthropomorphism: human connection to a universal society    133

12        How does God become real?    145

13        Theological perspectives on God as an invisible force    157

14        Visible efforts to change invisible connections    171

15        Social brain, spiritual medicine?    185

16        Epilogue    197

About the authors    207

Index    209


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