Developing the Horizons of the Mind is a comprehensive book on Relational and Contextual Reasoning, a theory of the human mind which powerfully addresses key areas of human conflict such as the ideological conflict between nations, the conflict in close relationships and the conflict between science and religion. K. Helmut Reich provides a clear and accessible introduction to the fresh RCR way of thinking that encourages people to adopt an inclusive rather than an oppositional approach to conflict and problem-solving. Part (...) one outlines the key aspects of RCR theory and supporting empirical data and part two provides examples of its application in the world. RCR provides a stimulating and challenging tool to several disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, religious studies and education, and this book will be a valuable resource for cognitive scientists, psychotherapists, theologians, educators and all those involved in conflict resolution. (shrink)
In recent years the science-and-religion/spirituality/theology dialogue has flourished, but the impact on the minds of the general public, on society as a whole, has been less impressive. Also, religious believers and outspoken atheists face each other without progressing toward a common understanding. The view taken here is that achieving a more marked impact of the dialogue would be beneficial for a peaceful survival of humanity. I aim to argue the why and how of that task by analyzing three possible purposes (...) of the dialogue and their logical interdependence, suggest conceivable improvements of the quality and extent of the current efforts toward a negotiated action plan, and consider an enlargement of the circle of the actors involved. The dialogue that has been carried on between science and religion/spirituality/theology could be expanded and usefully applied to some major problems in the present world. (shrink)
. Donald MacKay has suggested that the logical concept of complementarity is needed to relate scientific and theological thinking. According to Ian Barbour, this concept should only be used within, not between, disciplines. This article therefore attempts to clarify that contrast from the standpoint of cognitive process. Thinking in terms of complementarity is explicated within a structuralist‐genetic, interactive‐constructivist, developmental theory of the neo‐ and post‐Piagetian kind, and its role in religious development is indicated. Adolescents'complementary views on Creation and on the (...) corresponding scientific accounts serve as an illustration. After further analysis of parallel and circular complementarity, it is shown under which conditions complementarity of science and theology can be better justified and may be potentially more fruitful than is apparent from Barbour's or even MacKay's considerations. (shrink)
Some aspects of my writing the monograph Developing the Horizons of the Mind (2002) are highlighted, the central characteristics of relational and contextual reasoning (RCR) are explained, and the contributions to this symposium by John Albright, Varadaraja V. Raman, and John Teske are discussed.
Given that psychologists of religion as a scientific community so far have shown little interest in neurobiology, and neurobiology may become important for our field in the not too distant future, an attempt is made to present and discuss neurobiology and its conceivable interactions with psychology of religion. The long-standing debate about the philosophical grounding of the mind-body problem is recalled, as well as the scope of neurobiology and its research methods. Psychology of religion may assist neurobiology by providing research (...) data that could serve as material for constructing testable neurobiological hypotheses, data resulting, for instance, from studying an individual's perception of God and the numinous, the psychological characteristics of meditation, deep prayer, contemplation, etc. Psychology of religion could benefit from neurobiology, for assessing differing theoretical concepts regarding, for instance, religious experiences, and for constructing dynamic models of religious development. Possible roadblocks on the way to connecting psychology of religion and neurobiology are pointed out and literature for further reading is provided. (shrink)
A strategy for dealing systematically with such complex relationships as those between science and theology is presented after a brief overview of the historical record and illustrated in terms of the concept of divinity. The application of that strategy to the title relationships yields a multilogical/multilevel solution which presents certain analogies to or isomorphisms with the doctrine of the Trinity. These concern mainly the multilogical/multilevel character of both conceptualizations and the relational and contextual reasoning required to conceive them. Furthermore, certain (...) characteristics of the doctrine facilitate the dialogue between theologians and scientists on account of their similarity with such scientific concepts as diversity in unity, multiplicity of relationships, nonseparability, and nonclassical logic. (shrink)
This response offers considerable agreement with Anne Foerst's analysis in her essay “Cog, a Humanoid Robot, and the Question of the Image of God” (Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 33 [March 1998]), yet endeavors to make her argument even more helpful. The response deals mainly with (1) the concept of symbol and the symbolic approach, (2) the symbolic description of a human being by artificial intelligence (AI) and by the theological symbol, “image of God” (imago dei), and (3) the (...) ensuing dialogue between scientists and theologians. (shrink)
For both Han F. de Wit and Stanislav Grof, spirituality constitutes an essential part of humaneness; a life built on materialism is deemed an impoverished life. For de Wit, spirituality yields courage, compassion, joy, clarity of mind, and consequently wisdom. For Grof, personal spiritual experiences gained during altered states of consciousness are of central interest. After defining spirituality, these views, built on long‐term personal experiences of the authors and those of others, are explicated in detail. Both authors describe their respective (...) approaches to spiritual development. In either approach, third‐person knowledge and judgments have to be supplemented by first‐person knowledge and judgments arrived at appropriately. (shrink)