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The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion [Paperback]

By Ken Wilber (Author)
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Item description for The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion by Ken Wilber...

An acclaimed spiritual leader unites two often disparate camps as he points the way toward a new path of understanding, exploring how science is compatible with certain key features common to all of the world's faiths. Reprint.

Publishers Description
There is arguably no more critical and pressing topic than the relation of science and religion in the modern world. Science has given us the methods for discovering truth, while religion remains the single greatest force for generating meaning. Yet the two are seen as mutually exclusive, with wrenching consequences for humanity. In The Marriage of Sense and Soul, one of today's most important philosophers brilliantly articulates how we might begin to think about science and religion in ways that allow for their reconciliation and union, on terms that will be acceptable to both camps.
Ken Wilber is widely acclaimed as the foremost thinker in integrating Western psychology and the Eastern spiritual traditions. His many books have reached across disciplines and synthesized the teachings of religion, psychology, physics, mysticism, sociology, and anthropology, earning him a devoted international following. The Marriage of Sense and Soul is his most accessible work yet, aimed at guiding a general audience to the mutual accord between the spiritual, subjective world of ancient wisdom and the objective, empirical world of modern knowledge.
Wilber clearly and succinctly explores the schism between science and religion, and the impact of this "philosophical Cold War" on the fate of humanity. He systematically reviews previous attempts at integration, explaining why romantic, idealistic, and postmodern theories failed. And he demonstrates how science is compatible with certain deep features common to all of the world's major religious traditions. In pointing the way to a union between truth and meaning, Ken Wilber has created an elegant and accessible book that is breathtaking in its scope.

"From the Hardcover edition."

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Broadway
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.9" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 20, 1999
Publisher   Three Rivers Press
ISBN  0767903439  
ISBN13  9780767903431  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ken Wilber

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Ken Wilber is the author of over twenty books. He is the founder of Integral Institute, a think-tank for studying integral theory and practice, with outreach through local and online communities such as Integral Education Network, Integral Training, and Integral Spiritual Center.

Ken Wilber currently resides in Boulder Denver, in the state of Colorado.

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Product Categories

2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( W ) > Wilber, Ken
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Science & Religion
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Religion
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality
7Books > Subjects > Science > General
8Books > Subjects > Science

Reviews - What do customers think about The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion?

Visonary!  Jul 9, 2007
I read Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality before reading this work. The Marriage of Sense and Soul is a reader friendly version of the larger volume. And Wilber is constructing - book by book - an Integral Map of the way forward. For those not well educated in the history of philosophy or the scientific paradigm, this book provides a clear presentation of Wilber's ideas.

While many who purport a postmodern world view attempt to critique Wilber negatively, Wilber nevertheless (in my humble opinion) is a rock. Meaning his integral philosophy is rock solid. I don't pretend to understand the depth of his insight. But his comprehensive erudition along with his sage like understanding of the scope of consciousness is forthright and compelling. If we are to survive as a species, Wilber's vast erudition - seeking as it does - to integrate the world's wisdom traditions, along with the scientific paradigm needs to function together in harmony. Without an integral world view, it seems likely that we are doomed as a species - at least as we function together in culture. In fact, the culture of the future might look very different from what it does today given the nightmare of climate change unfolding before our eyes and the continued abuse of environmental integrity by corporations not engaged in integral or sustainable practices.

Besides the obvious, Wilber is probably the brightest Cat on the planet and deserves a hearing if for no other reason than this.

Brilliant, and futile  May 10, 2007
This is in almost every respect an immensely wise and thought-provoking book, and one that deserves to be widely read no matter what your opinions about the appropriate relationship between science and religion. The book is an especially potent antidote for the silly, trumped-up Creationism vs. Evolution debates that plague us lately, fueled as they are by the drive for book sales and personal celebrity, and which really should be sanctioned by Vince McMahon and the WWE. This is a far more serious treatment of the science-religion divide, how it developed, and what can be done about it. That it culminates in a pipe dream is forgivable given the complexity of the topic, especially since the only realistic solution -- "epistemological pluralism" -- is described along the way; the reader need only pretend that Wilber landed there, rather than where, unfortunately, he finally does land.

Ken Wilber tries to show the way to the "integration" of science and religion, but it's not clear who he thinks is demanding that. A more realistic goal is for the kind of rapprochement between those two realms that would allow each to serve its own functions in its own sphere without interference from the other. Religion has no standing to make claims about how the natural world works, and science has no standing when it comes to questions of morality and meaning. The trouble we see between science and religion comes from one or the other overstepping its bounds.

In fact, since there is little or no conflict between science and Eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, it is inaccurate to suggest that there is a conflict between science and religion in general. What we have instead is a conflict between science and certain religions, especially literalist forms of Christianity and Islam. When Wilber finally sets out his suggested path for integrating science and religion it turns that the key is for those problematic religions to -- Voila! -- become more like Buddhism and Vedanta Hinduism.

But the idea that Christianity and Islam are going to transmute into versions of Eastern wisdom traditions is pure fantasy. For example, he wants a more "authentic" Christianity, one which would jettison dogmatic details like the Virgin Birth and the bodily Ascension of Christ. Hmmm. Wilber operates out of Boulder, and in places like that -- Santa Fe and Sedona come to mind -- there will be a certain level of acceptance for ideas like that. But Wilber would find a different reception if he tried to make that sale in Chattanooga or Dallas or Tallahassee; it is entertaining to imagine the response to a parallel call for a more authentic Islam in Cairo or Riyadh or Islamabad.

Wilber is obviously a very, very bright guy, and he's immensely well-read. His account of the dissociations of modernity and how they developed is extremely interesting and full of insights. His analysis of why Hegelian idealism failed is one I've never seen before and may well be right. His critique of radical Postmodernism is terrific. But having done a masterful job in making the diagnosis, we end up being handed an unnecessarily over-reaching prescription that is pure fantasy. It's not that what Wilber describes couldn't work if put into practice, it probably would work; but its chances of being put into practice are zero. The mirror image of what he wants would be for science to suddenly decide that its true mission and purpose is to glorify God by discovering the workings of His creation. That would also integrate science and religion, and it is also not going to happen. Mutually respected separate spheres is the only plausible solution to the problem of how science and religion are to coexist.
Bringing preliterate thinking into the modern era...  Feb 17, 2005
is pointless, inadvisable, and ultimately impossible. Very good writing, though. This may be the most gripping book I've ever read that was completely wrong from beginning to end.
A great introduction to Wilber  Oct 9, 2004
Ken Wilber is quite possibly the most significant philosopher writing today. Yet his work is dense, academic, and difficult for those outside of academia or professional psychology to grasp.

With "The Marriage of Sense and Soul", Wilber writes a popular introduction to Integral thought, in which he outlines the basics of his philosophy- the "nest of being", interiors vs. exteriors, prerational/rational/transrational thinking, mystical states of consciousness, and the rest of the essentials of his philosophy. While there's still a lot of terminology to digest, and Wilber drops more than a few names that non-academics probably won't recognize, Wilber does manage to strip his philosophy down to a brief introduction that is far more elegant and feels like less of an abridgement than "A Brief History of Everything".

At the same time, I don't know if Wilber succeeds in pulling off the mission of the book- "Integrating Science and Religion." While Wilber does a fine job of defining science and the limits of science, his definition of religion throws out the very components of religion that are most relevant to the typical religious believer! He strips religion down to meditative contemplation, while rendering the other components of religion irrelevant to his model. Ultimately, his "integration" is only possible by redefining religion into his model. While Wilber's philosophy is powerful and coherent, (and hence I'm not ashamed to admit to being a "Wilberian") his explaining-away of religion makes the own purpose of his book impossible. You might as well ask Richard Dawkins (the famously atheistic evolutionary biologist) to write a book on the integration of science and religion- it would be just as unsatisfactory.

Despite this, however, the book does do an excellent job of presenting integral theory to a broader audience. As a companion volume, I'd recommend Robert Wright's "Nonzero" as another fine book on the integral vision.
Great & Accessible Intro to Wiber IV Integral Philosophy   Aug 19, 2004
Have you ever found a book that looked fairly interesting but completley blew you away instead? Where you finished the last page only to sit there in stunned silence thinking, "Holy...this is exactly what I've been looking for!" This was that book for me. After reading it the first time, I felt as if I should have discovered this slim volume in a dusty, darkened attic trunk like some long lost hidden treasure, rather than at a book store at O'Hare airport. It's the first book by Wilber I read, and since then I've devoured everything else of his I could get my hands on. Yes, it's that good.

'Sense & Soul' is a great place to take a quick dip in the deep blue ocean that is Wilber's Integral Philosophy. His grand idea is simple yet profound, and a Herculean undertaking: everybody's right (to a degree), so we'll gather the best of all knowledge, east and west, from both the past and today while discarding what doesn't work, and create something new and remarkable, an integral philosophy. The breadth and depth of his work to integrate the world's knowledge into a functional and coherent system is nothing short of staggering and delightful.

Wilber's vision expands and deepens while becoming more refined with each new book, and it is clear that what he is creating is a viable blueprint for a globally and spiritually aware future for this planet and it's inhabitants. 'Sense & Soul' is a beautifully clear glimpse of this vision. I can't recommend it highly enough.

From here I would move on to 'A Brief History Of Everything' and then perhaps tackle 'Sex, Ecology, Spirituality'. After that, you're on your own to cherry pick as you please.

The ideas contained within Ken Wilber's works are utterly transformative, but don't believe me, come see the future for yourself.

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