Spiritual Evolution Vaillant, George Broadway (May 20, 2008)

As a learned, though (by some accounts) deceptive, defense of the brain-faith connection from a leading Harvard psychiatrist and Christian, this book is among the most moderate, scientific, and reasonable arguments for faith that I have read. It focuses mainly on the positive emotions of awe, gratitude, etc., and the role that faith plays in promoting these feelings.

This is not to say that I find no fault in its arguments. In fact, I remain unpersuaded but I lack the neurology background to really take a swat at them. So I offer this short book as a good place for Sam Harris and fellow humanist co-thinkers to refine their arguments, particularly since Harris has announced that his next project will cover similar turf from the skeptical point of view.

If you agree that it’s good for your thinking to encounter reasonably presented arguments FOR faith, way above the level of CS Lewis or Rick Warren, then you might find reading Professor Vaillant’s book to be an enjoyable and helpful exercise. (For brevity’s sake I do not comment here on the reasonableness of the arguments themselves.) Sharpen your pencil!

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