Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Kathleen Buerer  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction Religion Science

Born: Chicago, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Albright is a native Chicagoan. She graduated from Augustana College.

Biographical and Professional Information

Carol Rausch Albright's work and writing examine the relationships among neuroscience, religious experience, theology, and complexity studies.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Growing in the Image of God
ISBN: 2895072698

Novalis Press (CN). 2002

Growing in the Image of God opens with the premise "Many of us believe that certain teachings about spiritual matters are eternally true. But even so, we cannot help but view those teachings through eyes conditioned by the intellectual and social milieu that molds us—by prevailing understandings of ‘the way things really are.’" Likewise, even scientific research is influenced by the prevailing opinions of the times. Working with these truisms, Albright demonstrates how natural and scientific thinking today can enhance understandings both of God and of human beings.

The book is divided into three chapters. The first offers a historical presentation on various stages of scientific thought, including complexity theory and the rise of holistic thinking. Albright argues that (1) complexity theory and the study of self-organizing systems, plus (2) a shift from dualitic to monistic thinking (matter and energy, brain and mind, being increasingly treated as unities), together present a radical new opportunity for faith to develop alongside and in fruitful interaction with science.

The steps of character growth are addressed in the second chapter. This includes understandings of the human mind posited by William James, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Erik Erikson. Special emphasis is given to James W. Fowler's work in spiritual development. With this talented cast, Albright has set the stage.

The third chapter grows out of the second, but also links back to the first, because it makes extensive use of the concepts of complexity and holism. Albright suggests that, "as personalities gain complexity, they may also increase in spiritual development and better reflect the Image of God" (p. 20). She suggests a dynamic model of a God in continual interaction with the world. "To exist in the image of God may then mean to live in continual responsiveness to the callings that are ours in particular, doing what needs to be done at the time" (p. 76)

NeuroTheology: Brain, Science, Spirituality, Religious Experience
ISBN: 0971644586

University Pr. 2003

Is the Brain Wired for God?
Is There a Scientific Basis for Spirituality & Religious Belief?
Does God Exist?
What is the Physics of God?
Is There Life After Death?
What is the Anti-Christ?

These questions and more are answered by the World's Leading Experts... Andrew Newberg, Michael Persinger, Matthew Alper, Eugene G. d'Aquili, Scott Atran, William James, Michael Winkelman, Carol Rausch Albright, Fraser Watts, and more. Over 600 pages. Nearly 200 illustrations. Thirty Eight Chapters. Thousands of References. And more....

Where God Lives in the Human Brain
ISBN: 1570717419

Sourcebooks Inc. 2001

"We have been religious for as long as we have been Homo sapiens..."

Walking the fine line between religious belief and recent scientific discoveries about the human brain, Where God Lives in the Human Brain explores the way humans have evolved to seek meaning in the world, to humanize our environment and to long for connection with the divine.

This enlightening, highly researched book shows how the way the brain works produces various interpretations and understandings of God. Our reptilian brain, the oldest part, gives us ritual, holy places and an ever-present God, while our mammalian brain gives us a loving, nurturing God. Our neocortex, the organizing part of the brain, gives us a God who is purposeful on our behalf.

In the final analysis, human beings are hardwired to seek--and find--God. Where God Lives in the Human Brain shows how we can understand this impulse toward divinity by understanding the intricacies of our brain and its capacity to grapple with the complexity of our universe.

The Humanizing Brain: Where Religion and Neuroscience Meet
ISBN: 0829812008

Pilgrim Pr. 1997

"We are biased in our culture today to suppose that any appeal to the authority of fields like brain science and evolutionary theory is an inevitably reductionistic move, one that is destined to blow apart any lingering hopes we might have that words like "divinity" and "the sacred" can still have meaning for us. ...This bias is understandable. As a rule, when brain science has taken it upon itself to pronounce on the continuing credibility of cherished religious ideals, the news has indeed been gloomy. . . . . [To address this issue], Ashbrook and Albright draw . . . not only [upon] modern, evolutionarily grounded understandings of the brain, but insights as well from new fields like complexity theory.

"Looking at ourselves in the mirrors held up by brain science helps us rediscover a fruitful sense of strangeness, of noninevitability about the most familiar dimensions of our being: our exploratory curiosities, our aesthetic orientations toward order and pattern, our primal needs to connect to other human beings, our penchant for violence, even cruelty, our imaginative capacity to discover meaning and purpose in the ambiguous realities of our existence.

"But that is not all. For Ashbrook and Albright, mapping the dimensions of our humanness in this way is not just an end in itself, but a prelude to a more radical inquiry: whether these deep structures of our humanness, as we have come to understand them, can guide us in our efforts to figure out the underlying deep structure of the universe—that we may symbolize using a word like 'God.'

"The argument here begins with an . . . assertion about the nature of knowledge and ends with . . . a provocation about the possible nature of reality. It runs like this: the human brain is set up in such a way that we are incorrigibly anthropomorphic in our efforts to make sense of reality. Wired to want and seek ordered patterns, emotional connection, and larger personal meaning in the world, we cannot help but discover a "human face" in our encounter with the cosmos too. But what is the status of this discovered "face"? One answer with a hoary history is that it is delusional—a lie that we cling to, because the real truth about the "really real" would be too difficult for most of us to bear. . . .

"Ashbrook and Albright push back hard against the pessimism that favors this message of disenchantment. ‘An anthropocentric perspective is unavoidable,’ they admit, but this ‘does not automatically negate the validity of what is perceived.’ On the contrary, they dare to suggest that our habit of humanizing the universe may in fact be our ticket to understanding something very important about that same universe: ‘the brain of homo sapiens [gives us information that fosters our survival and so, apparently,] reflects something basic to the setting in which we find ourselves. . . . [It] mirrors the universe that births us.’

"The ‘voice’ of this book, more often than not, speaks using the imagery and idioms of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The authors are clear, however, that this is because they are most comfortable negotiating their understandings in the cultural currency of that tradition—not because they suppose that their local map does full justice to the larger territory. In fact, as the authors proceed in their explorations, they end up posing as many challenges to more traditional Christian assumptions about God as they do to more traditional scientific assumptions about humanity."

From the Foreword by Anne Harrington, History of Science, Harvard University

Beginning with the End: God, Science, and Wolfhart Pannenberg
ISBN: 0812693264

Open Court. 1999

Can theology be informed by science and inform science in turn? Can theology make significant contributions to the understanding of science? Wolfhart Pannenberg, Professor of Theology at the University of Munich, is a significant voice in the conversation between religion and science

however, almost all the material published about him speaks exclusively from a theological/philosophical perspective. Theologians and philosophers of religion often feel unqualified to address Pannenberg's dialogue with the natural sciences.

Beginning with the End addresses this need. The collection begins with a thoughtful introduction mapping the science/religion dialogue and Pannenberg's place in it, followed by 4 pivotal essays by Pannenberg. It includes articles by distinguished scientists and theologians that compellingly analyze everything from behavioral genetics to evolutionary ecology. The editors have made the essays accessible to the general reader who is interested in the hotly debated terrain between religion and science.


Awards

-- *Award for excellence in periodical publishing, Chicago Women in Publishing, 1989