Item description for Lights of Madness: In Searchof Joan of Arc by Preston Russell...
Joan of Arc's legend has been embraced by diverse worldly ideologies, all competing for her meaning---icon, lunatic, early feminist, possibly a man? In this book Joan of Arc's trials and imagery are traced through the centuries, leading to modern scientific research to explain what is considered, or dismissed, as miraculous. Preston Russell examines the three trials of Joan; Joan's transformation in history and literature; and, as a physician, the evolution of insanity from antiquity to current brain research, presently probing the origins of consciousness to higher sources---opening up avenues that a few decades ago would have been dismissed as scientific madness. Does God speak to individuals directly? Are some human beings born with such a keen intuitive power that they can communicate with supernatural beings? Does God use otherwise ordinary people as the conduits for his miracles? And can science provide an answer to mankind's eternal search for God? Through Joan of Arc, Preston Russell provides a startling conclusion, achieving a reconciliation of science and religion, uniting the physical and the metaphysical.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 6.2" Height: 1.1" Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Release Date Nov 11, 2005
Publisher Frederic C. Beil
ISBN 1929490240 ISBN13 9781929490240
Availability 0 units.
More About Preston Russell
Preston Russell is a graduate of Tulane University and Vanderbilt Medical School. He also is the coauthor of Savannah: A History of Her People Since 1733. He and his wife live in Savannah.
Reviews - What do customers think about Lights of Madness: In Searchof Joan of Arc?
A far-reaching search for truth Feb 1, 2008
Joan of Arc has been a hero of mine for more than fifty years. Over those years I have read every book on her I could find. Many of these carry with them, naturally enough, the point of view of the author(s). Joan is one of those very rare personalities in history who seem to arrive out of thin air and turn the times on their head. Her short life is one of the most documented of her age, yet for many she remains an enigma. If one accepts the Roman Catholic view, there is a faith-based explanation. Other approaches to come to grips with this all too human teenage woman may reflect a gamut of ideas that cover the entire human experience, from romance to science.
Doctor Russell's thoroughness in exploring the various possibilites take on an intriguing trek. He first recounts Joan's life as it is documented, without dwelling on any certain aspect, such as military. His purpose seems to be "let's agree on what is undisputed" as we begin to search for any non faith-based explanation as to how a previously unknown teenage woman, who had no education, could motivate first a knight, then a baron, then the French prince and most remarkedly, his dismal army and it's commanders. I believe it is a fair statement that without Joan, France as we know it today, would not exist.
Modern researchers have a new arena to debate Joan's behavior, that of medical science. This is where Dr. Russell's work has it's greatest strength. He probes all of the modern theories that medical science has provided yet makes it understanble to the non-medical mind (like mine). I found the book a real page-turner, as if I was on a road to uncover a mystery, which I was. It has opened up some new possibilites I had not really considered. What better success can an author seek other than he made his readers think?
Joan is still a hero of mine. Dr. Russell has not tarnished her memory, but revived it in a modern light. Make sure your personal library contains Dr. Russell's book. Mine does.