THE ROOTS OF RELIGIOUS DOUBT AND THE SEARCH FOR SECURITY by Vernon W. Grant

THE ROOTS OF RELIGIOUS DOUBT AND THE SEARCH FOR SECURITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Grant, a clinical psychologist, prompted by his therapeutic work ""in the borderland between religion and psychology,"" tackles ethics, mysticism, evolution, history and free will. He has encountered emotional difficulties in his patients that cannot be called ""neurotic""; rather, they are ""religious"" (unable to tolerate a universe in which children are struck down -- in which evil is active for no apparent reason). He addresses himself to finding a world view, a ""humanism,"" which will deal with such matters. Evolution must contain a ""directedness"" other than natural selection or chance: how else to account for man's capacity for aesthetic pleasure or mystical experience? The agency, whatever it may be, expresses itself, develops, through ethical choice in man. Species survival and individual variation -- both ""values"" in evolution -- can be realized in human care and ""new behavior possibilities."" We should adopt such positions ethically, not only because they are biologically and cosmically grounded, but because most religions and ""civilized societies"" accept them (but surely all mores oppose free choice). Therapy, especially, becomes ""ethical."" Pretentious, unscientific myth-making and absurdly olympian.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Seabury