This book diagnoses an urgent need for change and renewal in a period of crisis for philosophy, science and society. The Florentine Renaissance, some six hundred years ago, took a huge leap forward into realism, rationality and self-awareness. It was born out of the waning authority of medieval institutions and beliefs. We stand now at a similar junction in history. It is apparent to many that reductionist science with its materialist values -- the worldview that has driven modern culture for the last two centuries -- is losing credibility. Its objectives of growth and acquisition, and its guiding principles asserting that there is no intrinsic meaning to life or purpose in the cosmos, are now widely seen as creating an unsustainable world. The essays gathered in A New Renaissance are a cultural response to the failings of the materialist worldview. Contributions in the first part diagnose the sources of the crisis in today's world. The second section searches for a new understanding of consciousness and mind, based on findings in recent non-materialist philosophy.
The third section looks to a renewal of spirituality beyond religion, aiming to recapture the personal depth and connection to the cosmos that materialism denies or ignores. The fourth section examines possible reforms in politics, economics and education to help bring forth a society that can sustain the flourishing of human beings in the globally interconnected world of the twenty-first century.
David Lorimer is Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network, an international group of academics and professionals dedicated to an open-minded exploration of the boundaries of science. Dr Oliver Robinson is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich, London, an Honorary Teaching Fellow at Birkbeck College, and a manager of the Scientific and Medical Network.
Introduction: The Choice Before Us David Lorimer Part 1: Worldviews in Transition 1. The World's Health Problem: An Integral Diagnosis Ervin Laszlo 2. Celebrating Crisis: Towards a Culture of Cooperation Elisabet Sahtouris 3. The Greater Copernican Revolution and the Crisis of the Modern World View Richard Tarnas 4. Recapturing the Whole: Brain Hemispheres and the Renewal of Culture Iain McGilchrist 5. Reinventing the Human Species: An Evolutionary Crossroads Frank Parkinson 6. Restoring Harmony and Connection: Inner and Outer HRH Prince of Wales 7. Modernity and the Transmodern Shift Oliver Robinson Part 2: Consciousness and Mind in Science and Medicine 8. Mind and Neurons: Consciousness and Brain in the Twenty-First Century Larry Dossey 9. New Science, New Earth Chris Clarke 10. The Credit Crunch for Materialism and the Possible Renewal of Science Rupert Sheldrake 11. Parapsychology and the New Renaissance David Luke 12. Any Dream Won't Do: Changing our Minds about Consciousness Paul Devereux 13. Thinking about Thought F. David Peat Part 3: Spirituality and New Understandings of the Sacred 14. Who are We and Why are We Here? Anne Baring 15. The Spiritual Imperative: Elegant Simplicity is the Way to Discover Spirituality Satish Kumar 16. Beyond the Material: The New Renaissance and Agnostic Spirituality Max Payne 17. From Sacred Ecology to Sacred Health Henryk Skolimowski 18. A Pathway Towards the One True Religion and Spirituality James D'Angelo 19. Returning to Natural Mind Peter Russell Part 4: Global and Local Transformation: Governance, Economics and Education 20. Towards a Politics for the Twenty-First Century: Psyche, Polis, Cosmos Jean Hardy 21. Towards a New Renaissance in Good Governance Chris Wright 22. Transforming the Economy Peter Bowman 23. Music and the Arts in a Possible Future Clement Jewitt 24. The Virtues of Uncertainty: A Character Curriculum for the Learning Age Guy Claxton 25. Why Schooling is a Major Contributor to the Crisis: and What Can Be Done About It Ian Cunningham Appendix: Manifesto for Change: Crisis as Opportunity
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