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Whatever Happened to the Soul? Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature (Theology And The Sciences) [Paperback]

By Warren S. Brown (Editor), Nancey Murphy (Editor) & H. Newton Malony (Editor)
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Item description for Whatever Happened to the Soul? Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature (Theology And The Sciences) by Warren S. Brown, Nancey Murphy & H. Newton Malony...

A biologist, geneticist, cognitive researcher, neurospecialist, psychologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, theologian, ethicist, and biblical scholar comment on the failure of modern science to see the soul as distinct from the body and the consequent ramifications for all disciplines.

Publishers Description
Winner of Prize for Outstanding Book in Theology and the Natural Sciences As science crafts increasingly detailed accounts of human nature, what has become of the soul? This collaborative project strives for greater consonance between contemporary science and Christian faith. Outstanding scholars in biology, genetics, neuroscience, cognitive science, philosophy, theology, biblical studies, and ethics join here to offer contemporary accounts of human nature consistent with Christian teaching. Their central theme is a nondualistic account of the human person that does not consider the "soul" an entity separable from the body; scientific statements about the physical nature of human beings are about exactly the same entity as are theological statements concerning the spiritual nature of human beings. For all those interested in fundamental questions of human identity posed by the present context, this volume will provide a fascinating and authoritative resource.

Awards and Recognitions
Whatever Happened to the Soul? Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature (Theology And The Sciences) by Warren S. Brown, Nancey Murphy & H. Newton Malony has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • Outstanding Books in Theology and the Natural Sciences - 1999 Winner - Outstanding Book category

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Fortress Press
Pages   252
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 4, 1998
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Edition  New  
Series  Theology And The Sciences  
ISBN  0800631412  
ISBN13  9780800631413  

Availability  0 units.

More About Warren S. Brown, Nancey Murphy & H. Newton Malony

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Warren S. Brown is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Travis Research Institute at the Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary. He is a research neuropsychologist with more than eighty peer-reviewed scientific papers on human brain function and behavior. He has also edited or co-authored four previous books, most recently Neuroscience, Psychology and Religion (with Malcolm Jeeves, 2009).

Warren S. Brown was born in 1944 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Fuller Theological Seminary, USA.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Philosophy
2Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Consciousness & Thought
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Psychology
9Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Science & Religion

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Science, Faith & Evolution

Reviews - What do customers think about Whatever Happened to the Soul? Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature?

The Soul Research in this BookI is Inconsistent With Modern Theology  May 28, 2008
The discussion of soul research is excellent. But this soul research is inconsistent with the rejection of intelligent design, the acceptance of Darwin's biological evolution, and the modern theology, which began in the 15th century with the writings of Bishop Nicholas of Cusa. This modern theology actually caused the emergence of modern science.

I am blogging my thoughts on this book on my website beginning on 5/25/08. I compare this book with my book, "The First Scientific Proof of God." To find my website, search my name through Google.
Excellent and Thought Provoking  Dec 11, 2006
Edited by Brown, Murphy and Maloney `What Ever Happened to the Soul' is a collection of inter-related essays regarding contemporary thought in the area of cognitive science as it pertains to the concept of the human soul.

Much recent work in the field of neurology points to an increasing correlation between the physical and the mental. Though work in this area is embryonic and far from definitive, it does raises important theological and philosophical questions. In particular, how does this growing physical-mental relationship impact the classic theistic view of man? In popular writing the mind-body issue has traditionally been framed as a dichotomy between either Cartesian substance dualism (brain and soul interact but are distinct substances) or reductive materialism (ultimately everything can be reduced to physics). Both of these approaches have there challenges.

With regard to dualism, the oft-cited question of how two distinct substances interact is not as troublesome to me as the implications of an increasing correlation between the physical brain and the mind (soul) - e.g. impact of injury, disease and the genetic-personality link. Despite dualism's difficulties, however, reductive materialism is even less satisfactory. For example, reductionism fails to account for free will, the nature of consciousness or the veracity of rationality - not minor problems.

The current text argues for what is known as non-reductive materialism. In this model, the soul is tied to the brain but an emergent quality that is not explainable by reductionism. I find this approach to have its own challenges. On the positive side the authors do a good job of dispelling the overstated popular conception of Christianity as necessarily entailing Cartesian dualism. It also provides a helpful means to see humans in a more holistic manner. On the negative side, the argument has a bit of a slippery feel. Unexplainable emergent qualities do not seem any easier to comprehend than substance dualism - at some point a miracle occurs (may be the case).

Overall, I thought the book was well written and thought provoking. Brown's pieces were particularly enjoyable. Although I think I may share many of her views, I found Murphy's contribution regarding current reductionist arguments a bit muddled - for someone interested in Christian take on these issues J.P. Moreland is much clearer

Overall, I highly recommended the book for readers interested in the philosophy of religion and the philosophy of the mind.
Authors want to have cake and eat it, too.  Oct 7, 2002
This book is about a puzzle: how our souls are connected to our bodies. The book's answer is called nonreductive physicalism.

Chapters 2 and 3, about evolution and genetics, can be skipped. They're too detailed and technical to be thumbnail introductions on those topics, but too philosophically naive to provide useful bridges to the rest of the book.

The authors of the later chapters (especially Murphy) at least appreciate the key issues. Ultimately, however, the book suffers from two major flaws. One is that its message doesn't hang together. The book repeatedly rejects the idea that people are "nothing but their bodies," but it also repeatedly declares that people consist of bodies and nothing else. And the book denies that one can explain people's spiritual lives neurobiologically, but it endorses a research program to do exactly that.

Second, the book is theologically precarious. It shuns the idea of an immaterial soul as incompatible with modern scientific ideas about how the physical world works. But exactly the same considerations will lead one to disbelieve in Biblical miracles, in divine healing from illness, and in the work of the Holy Ghost. The book in fact acknowledges this problem, without offering a solution (pp. 147-148).

Note for philosophy students: A key early mistake in the book (or perhaps a deliberate tactic) is to lump together two rival views, namely reductive and eliminative materialism. From there on, the book constantly declares that it is not reductive about the soul, when what it really means is that it is not eliminative about the soul.

Critics do not appear to know the issues  Apr 22, 2001
Quite simply, this is an extremely useful book.

It is a decidely Christian rejection of substance dualism, something that has been wanting in a popular yet still academic format for some time now. This book argues persuasively that a dualistic mindset is not only unnecessary, but a real hindrance to Christian thought.

As to the accusations of heresy given by some earlier reviewers - it seems that the reactions were a little ill-reasoned. In particular I would like to respond to Bruno D. Granger. Granger attacks the book because:


But even much more important, I think that Christian anthropology is fundamental for one of the most basic Christian dogma: the double nature of Christ, both human and divine. Traditionally it was thought that Christ had a human physical body and the third person of the Trinity as soul. But if humans are only physical beings without a (spiritual) soul then Jesus of Nazareth could not have been been both human and divine.


I don't doubt that many modern Christian dualists also think this way - that Jesus' BODY could not have been the divine "part," it was His SOUL that was the divine nature. However, this is heretical as far as historical Christian Orthodoxy is concerned. it is the christological herey called "nestorianism," splitting the divine and human natures up into two distinct substances. This, naturally, makes the body of Jesus nothing more than human (i.e. not divine at all), and renders the atoning work on the cross totally useless. But the obvious reason to reject this dualistic heresy present by Mr Granger is that it basically denies the incarnation altogether. If the "divine" and "human" parts remained so separate, did God really become man at all? Did the word really become flesh?

Glenn Peoples

No more Plato from the pulpit!  Jan 19, 2001
People who have actually studied philosophy and are tired of hearing people rave on and on about saving "souls" can read this for direction and sound arguments. It is a good collection of experts in theological, scientific, and philosophical fields that are not trying to push materialism onto you and call it Christianity. These are seminary professors and Christian scholars who have done their homework and are trying to make the corrections necessary to share the faith in today's world. It accentuates religion's key characteristic of a new life in Christ. Makes a great partner to William James' "Varieties of Religious Experience." Theological Anthropology is much overlooked today, and Christians are taking flack. You do not have to believe in evolution, but you cannot deny modern neuroscience and psychology. This book delineates how that can be done.

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