April 22, 2006, 2:30 PM
Mind Versus Soul
Participants: Jason Brown, Marcia Cavell, Marcel Kinsbourne, Dimitri Nanopoulos, Right Reverend Catherine S. Roskam, Roy Herndon Smith
Mind versus Soul examines the spiritual life as property of imagination. Faith is by definition an act predicated on a belief in the existence of forces that are not visible. And the great spiritual biographers nearly all describe a process of enormous doubt followed by moments of illumination that bear comparison to artists' descriptions of inspiration. How do the The Confessions of Saint Augustine compare to The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, how are the searches for beauty and divinity conjoined in moments of intense vision and inspiration? Mind versus Soul -- a topic discussed to some degree by Bruno Bettelheim in Freud and Man's Soul and by Robert Coles in The Spiritual Life of Children -- addresses the desire for a spiritual life as a recurrent striving of man, evidenced in virtually every culture. Mysticism, religion, spiritualism, as characteristics of the imaginative life and perhaps as evidence of some sort of higher functioning which might be called soul, are among the subjects engaged in this roundtable interchange. The brain and its relation to mind, to consciousness and to affective or emotional consciousness are also part of the discussion.
Jason Brown is Clinical Professor of Neurology (retired), New York University School of Medicine; author, The Life of the Mind and Process and The Authentic Self: A Psychology of Value.
Marcia Cavell is a philosopher and psychoanalyst; author of The Psychoanalytic Mind: From Freud to Philosophy and, most recently, Becoming a Subject.
Marcel Kinsbourne is a behavioral neurologist; Professor of Psychology at the New School; author of The Asymmetrical Function of the Brain, The Unity and the Diversity of the Human Brain, and Consciousness: The Brain's Private Psychological Field.
Dimitri Nanopoulos is Distinguished Professor of Physics, Mitchell/Heap Chair in High Energy Physics, Texas A&M University.
The Right Reverend Catherine S. Roskam is Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of New York.
Roy Herndon Smith thinks and writes about religion, community, society, psychology, and culture. A series of posts about Mind versus Soul appears on his blog The Love of Reality at royherndonsmith.com. He is also the author, under the name Roy Herndon Steinhoff-Smith, of The Mutuality of Care.
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