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Soul's Upward Yearning : Clues to Our Transcendent Nature from Experience and Reason (Paperback) (Ph.D.
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Western culture has been moving away from its Christian roots for several centuries but the turn from Christianity accelerated in the 20th century. At the core of this decline is a loss of a sense of our own transcendence. Scientific materialism has so seriously impacted our belief in human transcendence that many people find it difficult to believe in God and the human soul. This anti-transcendent perspective has not only cast its spell on the natural sciences, psychology, philosophy, and literature, it has also negatively impacted popular culture through the writings of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and many others.
The warning signs of this loss of transcendence have been expressed by thinkers as diverse as Carl Jung (psychiatrist), Mircea Eliade (historian of religion), Gabriel Marcel (philosopher), C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. These warnings were validated by a 2004 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry which showed that the absence of religion alone was responsible for a marked increase in suicide rates, sense of meaningless, substance abuse, separation from family, and other psychiatric problems.
Thus, the loss of transcendence is negatively affecting not only individuals’ sense of happiness, dignity, ideals, virtues, and destiny, but also the culture. Ironically, the evidence for transcendence is greater today than in any other period in history. The problem is – this evidence has not been compiled and propagated.
Fr. Spitzer’s book provides a bright light in the midst of this cultural darkness by presenting both traditional and contemporary evidence for God and a transphysical soul from several major sources. He also shows how human consciousness and intelligence is completely special – and cannot be replicated by artificial intelligence or animal consciousness. We are transcendent beings with souls capable of surviving bodily death – self-reflective beings aware of perfect truth, love, goodness, and beauty. We are beings with an unrestricted capacity to know and create science, law, culture, art, music, literature, and so much more.
The evidence reveals that we have the dignity of being created in the very image of God, and if we underestimate it, we will undervalue one another, underlive our lives, and under-achieve our destiny. This work is the most comprehensive treatment of human transcendence available today.