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A note on the book “Neurotheology”

NB This note was posted here until, in February 2004, I received threats from Rhawn Joseph. I ignored these until my ISP, Easynet, told me to remove the page. I did so on March 9th 2004. I am reposting this now, April 2007, because I still think it's helpful for people to know what happened.

Caution required! This book is published by UniversityPress, California, which is a private publishing house and not part of the University of California. Many scholars were invited to contribute and did so in good faith, myself among them. The name of Rhawn Joseph was not mentioned.

There were numerous problems leading up to publication and many errors appeared in my own contributions. For example, my affiliation was wrongly given as “The University of England”! The book is poorly produced, printed on low quality paper, and contains numerous spelling and other mistakes. Most significant is that of the 32 chapters, no less than 10 are by Rhawn Joseph, and they are on such topics as “The myth of the big bang,”, “Creation science” and “The death of Darwinism”.

I was promised a fee for my contributions but never received it, in spite of repeated requests. I regretted my association with this book and wished to have no further dealings with University Press, California.

I had also been invited by them to contribute to a later book on "Mind, Brain and Consciousness". After seeing Neurotheology I withdrew from participation in this book. I also informed a few of the other contributors, whom I knew personally, of my decision and at least one of them also withdrew.

Rhawn Joseph then cancelled the book. He also wrote to me saying that I was deeply sick and needed help, which he could provide. He threatened legal action against me, my university and my publishers. Fortunately both the University and my publishers ignored the threats as well. It was only when my ISP contacted me, saying that they had been threatened by Joseph, could not afford to get into legal battles, and asked me to remove it, that I did so.

In April 2003 Joseph informed me that my chapters had been removed from any future printings or later editions of Neurotheology and would be replaced with contributions by William James - a great alternative! 

 

One of the editors at UniversityPress California, Sara Jess, posted the following review of the book on Amazon.com

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

5 out of 5 stars A Book Light Years Ahead of Its Time., April 9, 2003
Reviewer: Sara Jess from San Francisco, CA United States
This is a great and wonderful, sometimes disturbing book. It is clearly ahead of its time. The chapters range from discussions of the big bang and the origin of life to the coming of the "anti-Christ" --an astronomical event which, according to the author, has to do with "precession" and the slow progression of the equinox from "house to house" i.e. the Age of Pieces (the Fish) and the Virgo (Virgin) being replaced by the Age of Acqurious and Leo (the Beast). I also enjoyed the chapters by Newberg and Persinger which provide an overview of the neuroanatomy and neurochemistry of religious experience. The chapters by Alper were also very interesting. I guess what I liked best about this book is that it is very scientific yet offers a variety of opinions from a number of different scientists. There are over 30 chapters. The only major flaw in this book, were the rather superficial and boring chapters by "pop" writer Susan Blackmore. Why anyone takes her serious is beyond me. I highly recommend this book. It has something for everybody.

 

 

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