With an analytical mindset and a philosopher’s heart, retired cell biology professor and university administrator Evans Roth explores the territory where science and theology intersect. He believes that everyone must find a personalized spiritual life and individualized sense of purpose in order to find true peace of mind–and soul–and take action to make the world a better place.
His view is a cross-disciplinary synthesis of the many beliefs that characterize our era, ranging from evangelical Christianity to brain development to Jungian psychology to political theory, and he proposes what he terms “Integrative Theology” as a method for people to mature intellectually and spiritually.
Diagnosing 17 basic cognitive conflicts he identifies as impediments to human progress, Roth focuses on what he calls the “Four Syndromic Sicknesses”: egocentricism; fundamentalism; despair; and “Hyper-immanence Syndrome,” conditions which create a damaging, destructive exclusivity among individuals and society as a whole. The antidote, he advises, is inclusivity of all beliefs and all humanity.
Roth’s book advocates a search for God using a “tri-polarity” of “Immance” (one’s developmental status), “Transcendence” (new experiences), and “Inherence” (human qualities and archetypes), which he describes and then displays in a series of Venn diagrams.
As this description might indicate, this is a difficult book to read, despite its expanded-outline cum question-and-answer format that is intended to be user-friendly. The author’s concepts are very hard to grasp. Readers will find it a chore to wade through the book’s lengthy, often convoluted and repetitive exposition. Additionally, since the work was published in 2005, the political discourse is dated. For those interested in the topic, the academic science/theology argument is better presented in Cambridge scholar Rev. John Polkinghorne’s One World trilogy.