FORGIVENESS: KEY TO THE CREATIVE LIFE by James G. Emerson, Jr.

FORGIVENESS: KEY TO THE CREATIVE LIFE

Its Power and Its Practice--Lessons From Brain Studies, Scripture, and Experience
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A pastor uses field theory to expound on the power of forgiveness and the potency of creativity.

Influenced by the work of physicist Michael Faraday and others, author/counselor Emerson studies the connection between forgiveness and creativity, using field theory to analyze interpersonal relations. This book expands on Emerson’s earlier work (The Dynamics of Forgiveness, 2007) and is written for the benefit of students, clergy and laymen. Field theory is complex and applicable not only to physical sciences but also math and psychology. Here the author describes a contextual universe—one in which the injurer in need of forgiveness, the injured who may offer forgiveness and their observers coexist and influence one another. An act and the reaction to that act unfold in a shared sphere of experience that may encompass an entire community, as in the case of the Amish school shootings in 2006. During his years of practice, Emerson encountered many who indicated that neurological studies had been a factor in developing the ability to forgive and live creatively. Functional MRIs (fMRIs) suggest that important physiological changes take place in the brain when one forgives or responds creatively. Here, creativity is not penning a poem or painting a portrait, but behaving in a purposeful, nonreactionary way. The author also examines blame, shame and the church’s historical approach to forgiveness. The application of field theory to psychology is valid, and echoes that oft-repeated mystical truth—we are one. Although Emerson’s findings may have profound implications for clergy, practitioners and academics, it seems unlikely that a lay person would review his or her fMRIs in search of behavioral guidance. The impact of field theory on the average person in daily life is unclear. What is the value of this research in a spur-of-the-moment incident like road rage, when the middle finger trumps the mid-brain? Actual case histories, including Columbine, are analyzed after the fact and tailored to fit a model. A reactionary approach, it seems, but easily forgiven.

Well-intentioned yet ultimately flawed examination of the creative force unleashed through forgiveness.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1434308009
Page count: 203pp
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Program: Kirkus Indie
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