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Beyond Religion: Finding Meaning in Evolution
This is a book about the merger of religion, politics, and science in the pursuit of ultimate truth and moral direction.
This is a book about spirituality and religion, written from the perspective of a psychologist, not a theologian. Psychologists are trained to base decisions on empirical evidence and reason, and the author maintains that this should be the basis for not only living our day-to-day lives but also for answers to existential questions and for the creation of accurate worldviews, in contrast to religions, which have been informed primarily by tradition and purported revelations.
Raised as an evangelical Christian (Calvinist), the author has spent a lifetime searching for satisfactory answers to existential questions such as the meaning of life. He found answers from the study of science and history and by employing critical thinking. Throughout this journey of exploration, he has maintained a belief in God, although his understanding of God has greatly evolved. He also has remained a Christian, that is he has remained a committed follower of the teachings of Jesus.
Modern disciplines such as classical physics, quantum physics, thermodynamics, evolutionary science, astronomy, neuroscience, history, and consciousness studies have given us new knowledge that is very pertinent to an accurate worldview about ultimate realities and God. Throughout the 13.8-billion-year history of our universe, one phenomenon has predominated: increasing complexity and growth. This cosmic evolution, the author maintains, is the unfolding manifestation of God.
Beyond Religion is an extraordinary work in that it integrates so many streams of awareness and knowledge. It includes religion, physics, thermodynamics, evolutionary science, astronomy, neuroscience, consciousness studies, cosmic evolution, mysticism, and integral theory. Vander Maas writes knowledgeably about all of these, weaving together a beautiful tapestry of insight and wisdom. Highly recommended. –Paul Smith, author of Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve
The magnificence of evolution—biological, psychological, cultural, and cosmic—is beautifully on display in Craig Vander Maas’s new work. As the powerful and subversive notions contained within these pages nibble away at older, more conventional worldviews, Vander Maas explores how new forms of spirituality and religion might help us navigate our complex and confusing age. Beyond Religion:Finding Meaning in Evolution is a love letter to the evolutionary spirit and a bountiful feast of cutting-edge insights and ideas. –Carter Phipps, author of Evolutionaries and Conscious Leadership, co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution.
In Beyond Religion: Finding Meaning in Evolution, Craig R. Vander Maas anticipates a positive future for humanity’s religious impulse. Drawing on cutting edge thinking in science, philosophy, and theology, he explores how we can put love and compassion into action. Vander Maas’ framing of a potential synthesis of science and spirituality is intriguing. — Steve McIntosh, author of The Presence of the Infinite
With his latest book, Beyond Religion: Finding Meaning in Evolution, Dr. Craig Vander Maas continues to challenge, inspire, and encourage ongoing spiritual growth and development through education and conscious evolution. Both academic and accessible, Beyond Religion integrates science, religion, psychology, and politics in the ultimate pursuit of truth. Challenging yet hopeful, Beyond Religion is well-suited for educational classes and church groups, as well as for personal study and reflection. –Salvatore Sapienza, author Childish Thinking: How the Church Keeps Us Stuck in Sunday School
About the Author
Craig R. Vander Maas is a clinical psychologist whose vocational specialties are neuropsychology and psychopharmacology. However, his research and writing interests are evolutionary psychology, developmental psychology (especially spiritual development), and transpersonal psychology. The author and his spouse, Mark, divide their time between Grand Rapids, Michigan and Rancho Mirage, California.