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The Culture of Our Thinking in Relation to Spirituality [Hardcover]

Michael Hogan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars splendid transcendence May 28 2010
This impressive work of scholarship is intended to bring the concept of spirituality into the forefront of modern psychological and philosophical thinking about the human condition. The author's concept of "transcendence-in-action" suggests that spirituality studies need to become more fully integrated into our educational systems and practices. The author reviews an impressively wide range of conceptual and philosophical approaches, providing a valuable coverage of modern thinking about this important concept.

John Reich and Alex Zautra
Professors of Psychology
Arizona State University
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an absorbing read June 16 2010
A highly original and absorbing exploration of the meaning and potential of spirituality within the contemporary world. Greater acknowledgement of the spiritual dimension, particularly in areas as education, could transform our global society. Michael Hogan opens up new and exciting perspectives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Gem May 26 2010
There's much to learn about spirituality in Michael Hogan's little gem. This is challenging terrain but there are many new things to be discovered along the way, and Michael Hogan clearly enjoys the
challenge and the process of discovery. I highly recommend it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks to Michael Hogan May 27 2012
Exploration des plus intéressante sur le potentiel de la spiritualité et de la créativité, notamment dans le monde de l'éducation. Je recommande cette lecture!

Great exploration of the potential of spirituality and creativity, especially in the world of education. I recommended it!
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing View on Culture and Spirituality May 31 2012
By Brick Johnstone - Published on Amazon.com
What a great book for those of us interested in determining the manner by which humans have spiritual experiences! Unfortunately, the majority of writings/research on this topic to date has focused on the neuroanatomical basis of spirituality (i.e., what part of the brain is responsible for being spiritual). Although neuroradiological measures (e.g., fMRI, PET, SPECT scans) are sexy and individuals assume they hold tremendous meaning for determining the neurological basis of spirituality, they are in fact simplistic and add little to our understanding of what "spirituality" is, and how it is shaped by our cultural experiences.

As Dr. Hogan concisely decribes in his book, The Culture of our Thinking in Relation to Spirituality, one's culture has a significant impact on the manner by which we all experience spiritual dimensions. Specifically, he convincingly argues that all those interested in this field (e.g., psychologists, neuroscientists, sociologists, cultural anthropologists, philosophers, religious studies scholars, etc.) must consider cultural interpretations of spiritual experiences, and most importantly, how cultural experiences influence the manner in which our spiritual experiences are interpreted.

Citing contemporary research on spirituality, cultural concepts of the self (and selflessness), and the manner in which culture influences all we do, feel, interpret, etc., Dr. Hogan provides a wonderful starting point for consideration of an absolutely essential foundation for understanding what is meant by "spirituality," and how our neurologically based spiritual experiences are shaped and formed by our cultures.

Researchers, clinicians, lay persons, clergy and all other interested individuals in the study of spirituality are beginning to understand that spirituality is more than a unitary construct (i.e., we all possess a degree of one general spirituality trait) that is related to distinct neurological structures/systems. Instead, Dr. Hogan helps us understand that spirituality is likely related to multiple experiences (just as cognition emcompasses multiple abilities), different neuroanatomical structures and neurochemicals, and neuropsychological abilities, all of which are dramatically shaped by culture. Although culture has been relatively ignored in the neuroscientific study of spirituality to date, it will be regularly incorporated into future research and Dr. Hogan's book will be one of the first to educate us regarding the importance of culture in this area, including several different theories for how culture influences our spiritual experiences.

The book is a great read for dedicated researchers and thought provoking for those who have more basic interests in the area. Although parts of the book are quite deep, as expected for the topic and reflective of the thinking of a very intelligent individual, it's an important and interesting book that will likely be appreciated by multiple audiences.
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