Welcome to day 3 of the Fresh Ink Group Authors’ Blog Tour with Marshall Shearer, MD. Comment on his post here or at [email protected] to enter for one randomly awarded free book trailer or one of seven (7) daily free books. Thanks for hosting, and thanks for visiting. Be sure to subscribe!
About Marshall “Doc Shearer” Shearer, MD
Clinical and private psychiatrist Marshall L. Shearer, MD, served as Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, developer and trainer at the Masters and Johnson Institute, researcher, consultant, and journal author. He and his wife of more than a half century, Marguerite, wrote the nationally syndicated “Sex Help” column for 23 years, plus books on maximizing relationship success and understanding human sexuality. Born to generations of ministers, Marshall melded a lifetime of religious studies with expertise in the human mind. He published his autobiography, My Life and Spiritual Journey, before tackling such complex issues as how world religions can find common ground. The Shearers and their persnickety horses lived in Dexter, Michigan, while he worked on his final book. Sad to say, Marshall briefly suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease before passing away. Toward Interfaith Harmony has been published posthumously. His wife, Marguerite R. Shearer, MD, curates his literary presence along with Stephen Geez, his lifelong friend and editor. The last piece Marshall and Stephen produced together is the post you’ll read below.
Toward Interfaith Harmony: Why People Believe or Not, and Where Differences Take Us Next offers new perspectives in exploratory theology and religious thinking. It considers answers to the broad questions: What is religion? How does religious belief serve our needs? How did we come to the diversity of faiths found throughout our world today? How do we deal with our differences, and what can we find in common to bring us together?
A growing discipline is the study of religion as “neuro-theology,” a nascent exploration of the biological bases for human “spirituality.” I explain the evidence, but stress it is but one facet of complex processes that also include psychology, sociology, historical mythology, intellectual theology, and a range of influences from culture to environment. Toward Interfaith Harmony: Why People Believe or Not, and Where Differences Take Us Next demonstrates how these factors and more have worked together to bring humanity to our current ways of perceiving and believing. It offers a simple-to-follow integrated whole for examining one’s self and understanding others.
The book begins with succinct explanations of psychological processes, including the differences between feelings, thoughts, and actions. Introducing contexts leading to religious understanding, it explores how the mind perceives, extrapolates, and projects in the formation of the superstitions and myths that lead to complex belief systems. With examples from world history, it moves readers through the social and organizational dynamics of political systems that institutionalize faiths, thus affecting all aspects of human society. Included is a broad overview of how our dominant religions have grown and now thrive, how they adapt to perpetuate and compete, and how individuals respond both positively and negatively. It helps us understand how our responses can range from hostile fundamentalism to casual new-age spirituality.
In postulating more than a biologically based need for religion, I explore commonalities across all cultures, including a detailed look at many essential tenets readers are sure to recognize. I focus on the basic desire for social justice in its unlimited myriad forms, then identify the proven approaches guiding many successful congregations today.
In this age when many are seeking answers outside the framework of organized religion—a time when populations fear zealotry as a threat to their very lives—I look beyond what goes wrong to learn what fosters right, even as I find hope and the most exquisite beauty in our world’s religious diversity.
Toward Interfaith Harmony: Why People Believe or Not, and Where Differences Take Us Next calls for an understanding of our potential for greater good, challenging each of us to answer the most poignant question of all: How big is your circle of love?
Marshall’s Book: Toward Interfaith Harmony
From ancient myths to the world’s great religions, Dr. Shearer expands our knowledge of how humans perceive, think, and shape our relationships with the Divine. Toward Interfaith Harmony: Why People Believe or Not, and Where Differences Take Us Next teaches that by understanding ourselves, we dare to transcend mere tolerance and celebrate the differences that make us whole.
Marshall’s Book Trailer
Marshall’s Social Media
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