On February 10, 2016, Iain McGilchrist spoke with host Iwan Russell-Jones, Carolyn Arends, and Krish Kandiah on how the brain's two hemispheres are shaping our consciousness, our faith, and our culture.
Iain McGilchrist's book The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World explores the nature of the brain's two hemispheres, their relationship to one another, and their role in shaping our consciousness and our culture.
The effective functioning of the brain—and by extension, of society as a whole—is subject to a delicate balance between the two hemispheres' distinct ways of interpreting the world. But over the past few centuries, states McGilchrist, we have favoured the left hemisphere's rational, fact-driven approach at the expense of the right hemisphere's emphasis on metaphor, paradox, and context.
What are some of the implications of this imbalance for contemporary culture in general, and for faith in particular? How do we go about redressing it? And what can theology contribute to this conversation?
by RSA Animate
Watch this engaging animated introduction to Iain McGilchrist's book The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. Hopefully, it will inspire you to pick up a copy of the book!
by Krish Kandiah
"Paradoxes, mysteries, conundrums: the Christian faith is full of them." In this three-minute video introducing his new book Paradoxology, Krish asks: "what if we've settled for neatly packaged simplistic answers instead of seeking out the deep and rich realities of our faith?"
by Krish Kandiah
In this Christian Today article, Krish Kandiah asks a number of questions about the implications of Iain McGilchrist's thesis for Christian ministry. "Has the Church tried to appeal to left-brain thinking by making the gospel sound more scientific and empirical?"
by Carolyn Arends
In this Christianity Today article, Carolyn Arends explores why the narrow way to faith is also expansive. "In a myriad of areas," she writes, we "polarize, dichotomize, and greatly minimize the life God has for us." Yet it's in the "both/and" propositions that we find true faith.
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Iain McGilchrist is a former Oxford literary scholar, writer, and world-renowned psychiatrist who practised in London, UK. He came to international prominence with the publication of The Master and His Emissary in 2009. Iain now lives on the Isle of Skye, where he continues to write and make a living by lecturing. He is working on books about creativity and mental illness and the current plight of the humanities, and hopes to complete a short book of reflections on spiritual experience.
Krish Kandiah is President of the London School of Theology, the largest interdenominational, evangelical theological college in Europe. He is also Founder and Director of Home for Good, a charity finding loving adoptive and foster homes for vulnerable children. Krish is a frequent lecturer in Regent College's Summer Programs. He is a regular speaker at university missions, and has wide experience in evangelism and cross-cultural mission.
Alumna Carolyn Arends (MA '14) has released eleven albums and three critically acclaimed books. In addition to her work as a touring recording artist, speaker, and college instructor, Carolyn is the Director of Education for Renovaré, an organization that encourages and nurtures spiritual renewal. From 2008 to 2014, she wrote the bimonthly column "Wrestling With Angels" for Christianity Today. She is currently writing for Faith Today and Today's Christian Woman.
Iwan Russell-Jones is an award-winning filmmaker, theologian, and writer. He is the Eugene and Jan Peterson Chair in Theology and the Arts and Head of the Christianity and the Arts Program at Regent College. Iwan has over 25 years of experience as a producer and director for the BBC, in both television and radio. He has produced documentaries that include The Crucified King (BBC1 2003), American Prophet (BBC2 2008), and Who Do You Say I Am? (BBC1 2007).