Peter B. Todd argues for the integration of science and religion to form a new paradigm for the third millennium. He counters both the arguments made by fundamentalist Christians against science and the rejection of religion by the New Atheists, in particular Richard Dawkins and his followers. Drawing on the work of scientists, psychologists, philosophers, and theologians, Todd challenges the materialistic reductionism of our age and offers an alternative grounded in the visionary work taking place in a wide array of disciplines.
“Kudos to Peter B. Todd for this masterful contribution which will undoubtedly advance the dialogue between the scientific disciplines and theology. Drawing upon the work of scientific thinkers such as Schrödinger, Heisenberg, Huxley, Pauli, Einstein, Pribram, and Bohm on the one hand and theologians such as Teilhard de Chardin and Hans Küng on the other, Todd asserts that Dawkins’ “God delusion” refers to a passé, naïve conception of an anthropomorphic God who created a pre-Copernican clockwork universe. By contrast, Todd points the way to a scientifically illuminated theology. He pulls from such diverse fields as neuropsychoanalysis, quantum physics, Jungian thought, and transpersonal psychology to develop a higher-order understanding of evolution that embraces the complementarity of mind and matter and is bound by neither time nor space. It is a vision of evolution that honors consciousness, the archetypal, and the numinous as fundamental. It is difficult to do full justice to the philosophical sophistication and precision Todd brings to this subject. Readers should brace themselves for an intellectually challenging and exciting journey foreshadowing a paradigm shift in which the conceptual boundaries between science, theology, and psyche are smashed.”—David Van Nuys, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Sonoma State University, and host of Shrink Rap Radio Podcast
“This book is the work of a religious thinker and an experienced psychologist who has immersed himself in the writings of Carl Jung and sciences of our age. This is not a theological book; rather, it is an expression of depth psychology, of divine experience, what Todd calls an “epiphany to the human consciousness . . . a God from within evolving matter itself,” where matter matters and God is an expression of the human mind. Todd helps us engage with our experience of God as the unconscious archetype. A first-class example of what Jung spent most of his life doing, namely, restoring meaning to symbols as expressions of the human condition, it is as erudite as it is joyous, in short, a work of love and purpose.”—David B. Russell, Ph.D.
“Science and religion are still viewed as enemies by the popular mind, but as Peter Todd eloquently shows, the gap between them is rapidly closing. Todd writes clearly and persuasively with considerable knowledge of both camps. Jung was intent on reconciling science and religion through psychology, a project which met with widespread misunderstanding. Todd throws light on this endeavor and shows us the one world that can be glimpsed beyond the separate modalities of faith and reason. The Individuation of God represents a significant cultural fusion of scientific research and religious vision.”—David Tacey, Ph.D., author of How to Read Jung and Edge of the Sacred: Jung, Psyche, Earth
“Peter Todd has written a masterful, if at times a bit dense (or perhaps it was just that I felt “dense”), synthesis of quantum physics, depth or psychodynamic psychology, and religion, in a surprisingly small and readable volume. To do it justice I’ll need to read it again! It had personal meaning for me, as I have been an Anglican/Episcopal priest for 35 years, and worked as a Jungian Analytical Psychologist for the last 15. My weakest area was the third strand of thought he presents, quantum physics, and in particular the work of Bohm, Pribram, and Schroedinger, that offers a solution to those like me who strive to bridge the apparent (but, as Todd points out, largely illusory) gulf that popular culture still tends to see extant between science and religion. In building his argument for “a theology for the third millennium,” Todd weaves these three areas of human intellectual endeavor, while also offering a damning critique of such militant atheists as Richard Dawkins, and equal disdain for the “fundamentalist” factions of all three of the Abrahamic religions (i.e. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). He notes, and I think correctly, that the common error of both is rigidity in accepting their own dogmas as “true” to the exclusion of any other, ignoring all evidence that would contradict their strongly held positions. Hence, he sees little difference in the process of either side, although the respective content may vary considerably.
In the course of his discussion, he touches on many very contemporary topics, most notably global climate change, and calls for a new vision – such as that inspired by our journey to the moon in the 1960’s, which allowed humankind for the first time to view our planet as it is in the universe, a relatively small, fragile world that is a unity. Unless we are able to transcend our current nationalistic rivalries and petty jealousies, we are once again, like the days at the height of the cold war, in a position to destroy “this fragile earth, our island home.” Whether or not we are able to avert the impending destruction depends, at least in part argues Todd, on our willingness to leave behind the misplaced “faith in materialism” that has brought us to this brink, and replace it with “a consciousness of the sacredness of all people and of the earth itself.” (p 145)
This volume offers those of us who choose to recognize the value of human consciousness in all its varied expressions, whether overtly religious, mystical or scientific and exploratory, as unified in a common goal, namely that “through the human being the universe is making a mirror to observe itself.” (Bohm, 2002, quoted by Todd)—David G. Davidson-Methot, Ph.D.
Peter B. Todd has been a research psychologist at the Neuropsychiatric Institute Sydney, a member of the Biopsychosocial AIDS Project at the University of California, a consultant in the department of immunology at St. Vincent’s Hospital, and a research coordinator at the Albion Street AIDS Clinic Sydney. His papers have appeared in the British Journal of Medical Psychology, the Griffith Review, and the interdisciplinary journal Mind and Matter. He is currently a psychoanalytic psychologist in private practice in Sydney, Australia.
writestyles (verified owner) –
This is a testimonial for this book, not a review. I ordered it for my son for Christmas and my husband who is a scientist and confirmed atheist started reading it and loved it so much he demanded that I buy him a copy too. I will post again when the book arrives and I hear what he has to say about it.