Now available from Ignatius Press:
The Soul's Upward Yearning Clues to Our Transcendent Nature from Experience and Reason
by Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ
Since the early twentieth century, scientific materialism has so undermined our belief in the human capacity for transcendence that many people find it difficult to believe in God and the human soul. The materialist perspective has not only cast its spell on the natural sciences, psychology, philosophy, and literature, it has also enthralled popular culture, which offers very little to encourage the “soul’s upward yearning”.
There are many signs of the widespread loss of confidence in our ability to soar upward, and these have been noted by thinkers as diverse as Carl Jung (psychiatrist), Mircea Eliade (historian of religion), Gabriel Marcel (philosopher), and authors C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Their observations were validated by a 2004 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry that linked the absence of religion with a marked increase in suicide, meaninglessness, substance abuse, separation from family members, and other psychological problems.
Thus, the loss of transcendence is negatively affecting an entire society. It is stealing from countless individuals their sense of happiness, dignity, ideals, virtues, and destiny.Ironically, the evidence for transcendence is greater today than in any other period in history. The problem is, this evidence has not been compiled and made widely available—a challenge Father Spitzer aspires to meet with this book.
Father Spitzer’s work provides a bright light in the midst of the darkness by presenting traditional and contemporary evidence for God and a transphysical soul from several major sources. It shows that we are transcendent beings with souls capable of surviving bodily death; that we are self-reflective beings aware of and able to strive toward perfect truth, love, goodness, and beauty; that we have the dignity of being created in the very image of God. If we underestimate these truths, we undervalue one another, underlive our lives, and underachieve our destiny.
Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ, is a philosopher, educator, author and former President of Gonzaga University. He is founder and President of the Magis Institute, an organization dedicated to public education on the relationship among the disciplines of physics, philosophy, reason, and faith. He is the head of the Ethics and Performance Institute which delivers web-based ethics education to corporations and individuals. He is also President of the Spitzer Center of Ethical Leadership, which delivers similar curricula to non-profit organizations. His other books include Healing the Culture and Five Pilars of the Spiritual Life.
Praise for The Soul's Upward Yearning:
“Father Spitzer displays a broad range of arguments in favor of the reality and the compelling importance of the transcendent dimension of our existence on the basis of religious literature, our interior awareness of transcendent reality, the cosmic struggle between good and evil, metaphysics, our natural desire to experience perfect goodness, love and beauty, the evidence of near-death experiences, and contemporary science, especially astrophysics.” -- Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
“Spitzer’s brilliant use of physics, cosmology, psychology, neuroscience, NDE studies, and contemporary philosophy reveals how all disciplines and shared human experiences converge on the truth of our spiritual nature. A grand synthesis from the pen of a master.” -- Michael Augros, Ph.D., Author, Who Designed the Designer?
“An intellectual triumph. Those who think faith is a matter of emotion and self-delusion could not intelligently defend that position if they read this book with an open mind and comprehended its arguments. Magnificent.” -- Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author