Steven's Reviews > Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self

Absence of Mind by Marilynne Robinson
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's review
Sep 23, 2010

it was amazing
Read in September, 2010

Robinson dazzles me again with her non-fiction, this a somewhat continuation of what she explored in "The Death of Adam," that is the lack of intellectualism in today's religions. The difference is here she explores the proliferation of what she calls "parascience" - those thinkers from Bertrand Russell to today's Hitchens and Hawkins, who believe that since science has explained much of what the brain does, religion is no longer necessary. She refutes this claim and instead posits that even though science has brought us forward, there's still an edge to thought and experience that it can't explain, a void into which philosophy and religion must probe with wonder. I was delighted to read her well thought out arguments on this case, as it's something I've thought about for some time now, how religion and science often ask the same questions, yet are so at odds with each other in our national conversations. If you've ever asked these same questions, or if you've read some of the previously mentioned authors, this book is a great companion.
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