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How God works : the science behind the benefits of religion

by DeSteno, David,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Hill District Non-Fiction Collection BL53.D375 2021
Location  CLP - Hill District
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  BL53.D375 2021
CLP - Main Library First Floor - New Non-fiction BL53.D375 2021
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - New Non-fiction
Call Number  BL53.D375 2021
Northern Tier Regional Library Nonfiction 200.19 DESTE
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  200.19 DESTE
Northland Public Library New Books 200.19 D47
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  New Books
Call Number  200.19 D47
Drawing on a wealth of new evidence, pioneering research psychologist David DeSteno shows why religious practices and rituals are so beneficial to those who follow them--and to anyone, regardless of their faith (or lack thereof).

Scientists are beginning to discover what believers have known for a long time: the rewards that a religious life can provide. For millennia, people have turned to priests, rabbis, imams, shamans, and others to help them deal with issues of grief and loss, birth and death, morality and meaning. In this absorbing work, DeSteno reveals how numerous religious practices from around the world improve emotional and physical well-being.

With empathy and rigor, DeSteno chronicles religious rites and traditions from cradle to grave. He explains how the Japanese rituals surrounding childbirth help strengthen parental bonds with children. He describes how the Apache Sunrise Ceremony makes teenage girls better able to face the rigors of womanhood. He shows how Buddhist meditation reduces hostility and increases compassion. He demonstrates how the Jewish practice of sitting shiva comforts the bereaved. And much more.

DeSteno details how belief itself enhances physical and mental health. But you don't need to be religious to benefit from the trove of wisdom that religion has to offer. Many items in religion's "toolbox" can help the body and mind whether or not one believes. How God Works offers advice on how to incorporate many of these practices to help all of us live more meaningful, successful, and satisfying lives.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "For many, COVID-19 seems to have brought existential questions to the fore. Research scientist and psychologist DeSteno offers findings based on his and others' work about how humans make meaning throughout a lifespan. Citing the world's major religions, he posits that communal rituals imbue humans with insight and purpose from cradle to grave. He discusses how the Muslim and Shinto religions welcome new babies with ceremonies that celebrate new life and offer support to parents as they undertake child-rearing. School-age children tend to believe authority figures more than their parents, and he discusses the ramifications of what that means. Coming-of-age rituals signal the passage from childhood to adulthood, but in Western culture, when is the right time? Early adulthood is the time to make deep connections and establish intimacy. Middle age is the time to attend to the body and the soul and to begin reckoning with one's mortality. His discussion of sitting shiva is deep and insightful. Parents, teachers, and religious leaders will appreciate DeSteno's work, which is accompanied by copious endnotes."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "DeSteno (Emotional Success), a psychology professor at Northeastern University, delivers an exceptional and expertly researched study of the science of believing in the divine. He dissects the brain functions involved in the practice of faith and how they help individuals develop senses of morality and ethics, as well as assist in forming a foundational sense of family. DeSteno contends that "centuries before psychologists ever studied , almost every tradition had adopted it as a way to bind people together--to nudge them to support one another and to reduce the toll loneliness can take on the body and mind." DeSteno also explains the separation between practicing religion and subscribing to a theology, suggesting the benefits of religion come in the form of everyday work more than in the proclamation of belief. He backs up his points with numerous studies and argues that the bonding benefits of religious acts--whether Japanese birthing rituals, Native American coming-of-age ceremonies, or Buddhist compassion meditations--are consistent across many different faith traditions: "The upshot here is clear. Belief soothes worry. Avoiding the impulse to assess every possible outcome--many of which we can't control--eases stress, making us calmer and healthier." This thorough, insightful study will convince readers that worship itself is a boon for mental and physical health. (Sept.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Psychology, Religious.
Psychology and religion.
Publisher New York :2021
Edition First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Language English
Description ix, 246 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 199-232) and index.
ISBN 9781982142315
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