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Record Type: Review   ID: 711

The Dual Brain, Religion, and the Unconscious

Liddon, Sim C.

 Liddon examines religious experience, which could fuel a theology acceptable to empiricists. His findings, based on split-mind research and observations of dynamically-oriented psychotherapists, lead to a paradigm that can contain aspects of such widely disparate disciplines as anthropology, neurology, philosophy, psychiatry, psychotherapy, and religion. His specific aim is to integrate "the psychological implications of split-brain research with the concept of the symbolic process" (p. 21). The synthesis involves recognizing that humans mentally process experience in two different ways: linearly and logically and in a holistic or Gestalt mode. He feels they can be combined in what he calls bimodal processing, which can help individuals to find "a sense of meaning in life and a sense of value in actions" (p. 39). It also explicates some aspects of religious experience. Based on the ideas of William James and Rudolf Otto, Liddon makes "an initial attempt to suggest ... a conceivable framework for understanding psychology (and psychotherapy), neurology, and at least some aspects of religion, a framework that might include the unconscious, religious experience, and split-brain research within the same understanding" (p. 143). This framework rests in part on William James’s observation that "invastions from the subconscious ... take on objective appearances (suggesting) an external control" (p. 146).
Publisher Information:Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1989. 265p. Bibl: 239-249; Name Ind: 251-253; Subject Ind: 255-265
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