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A Sociable God: Toward a New Understanding of Religion

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In one of the first attempts to bring an integral dimension to sociology, Ken Wilber introduces a system of reliable methods by which to make testable judgments of the authenticity of any religious movement. A Sociable God is a concise work based on Wilber's "spectrum of consciousness" theory, which views individual and cultural development as an evolutionary continuum. H In one of the first attempts to bring an integral dimension to sociology, Ken Wilber introduces a system of reliable methods by which to make testable judgments of the authenticity of any religious movement. A Sociable God is a concise work based on Wilber's "spectrum of consciousness" theory, which views individual and cultural development as an evolutionary continuum. Here he focuses primarily on worldviews (archaic, magic, mythic, mental, psychic, subtle, causal, nondual) and evaluates various cultural and religious movements on a scale ranging from egocentric to ethnocentric to worldcentric to Kosmic. By using this integral view, Wilber hopes, society would be able to discriminate between dangerous cults and authentic spiritual paths. In addition, he points out why these distinctions are crucial in understanding spiritual experiences and altered states of consciousness. In a lengthy new introduction, the author brings the reader up to date on his latest integral thinking and concludes that, for the succinct and elegant way it argues for a sociology of depth, A Sociable God remains a clarion call for a greater sociology.


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In one of the first attempts to bring an integral dimension to sociology, Ken Wilber introduces a system of reliable methods by which to make testable judgments of the authenticity of any religious movement. A Sociable God is a concise work based on Wilber's "spectrum of consciousness" theory, which views individual and cultural development as an evolutionary continuum. H In one of the first attempts to bring an integral dimension to sociology, Ken Wilber introduces a system of reliable methods by which to make testable judgments of the authenticity of any religious movement. A Sociable God is a concise work based on Wilber's "spectrum of consciousness" theory, which views individual and cultural development as an evolutionary continuum. Here he focuses primarily on worldviews (archaic, magic, mythic, mental, psychic, subtle, causal, nondual) and evaluates various cultural and religious movements on a scale ranging from egocentric to ethnocentric to worldcentric to Kosmic. By using this integral view, Wilber hopes, society would be able to discriminate between dangerous cults and authentic spiritual paths. In addition, he points out why these distinctions are crucial in understanding spiritual experiences and altered states of consciousness. In a lengthy new introduction, the author brings the reader up to date on his latest integral thinking and concludes that, for the succinct and elegant way it argues for a sociology of depth, A Sociable God remains a clarion call for a greater sociology.

30 review for A Sociable God: Toward a New Understanding of Religion

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christie

    This book helped me make sense of people of all faiths having the same spiritual experiences, and reassured me that growing out of organized religion is a natural stage of human development.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephen M. Theriault

    Wilber rules the philosophical coolness of metaphysics.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peter Aronson

    If you believe that transcendental mental states are real, objective, spiritual and can be reliably be reproduced, then Ken Wilber's system for classifying religions on the twin axis of legitimacy and authenticity may make sense to you. If not, the whole structure is a castle built on sand. In any case it does not, despite its claims, in anyway resemble a legitimate part of any social science. So much of this book's reasoning is build on cherry-picking the literature to match the author's precon If you believe that transcendental mental states are real, objective, spiritual and can be reliably be reproduced, then Ken Wilber's system for classifying religions on the twin axis of legitimacy and authenticity may make sense to you. If not, the whole structure is a castle built on sand. In any case it does not, despite its claims, in anyway resemble a legitimate part of any social science. So much of this book's reasoning is build on cherry-picking the literature to match the author's preconceptions (this includes literature long abandoned as obsolete or invalid by the fields it came from!), and when the cherry-picked literature doesn't match the author's opinions closely enough, he just blithely suggests what changes he wants to match better. And his use of word evolution is particularly egregious! He doesn't seem to understand evolution isn't goal oriented, but rather believes it to be strictly teleological, where things inevitably evolve from lower to higher forms. Nor does he seem to have any interest in the philosophy or the sciences or the social sciences or he'd know the problems involved with subjective states as if they were part of objective reality.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Leanne Hunt

    This was for me a pleasing introduction to Ken Wilber's work. I appreciated his clear description of the problems sociologists have with discussing religion, and of the wide variety of religious experience known to man over the centuries and across the globe. His suggestions for a more objective definition of spirituality points to the possibility of a greater appreciation of different faiths in the future. While religion will always be deeply personal, there is a pressing need for a hierarchica This was for me a pleasing introduction to Ken Wilber's work. I appreciated his clear description of the problems sociologists have with discussing religion, and of the wide variety of religious experience known to man over the centuries and across the globe. His suggestions for a more objective definition of spirituality points to the possibility of a greater appreciation of different faiths in the future. While religion will always be deeply personal, there is a pressing need for a hierarchical classification that recognises the human spirit's potential for growth and evolution.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    Ken Wilber is an incredible intellectual and author. He is a great source for those of us who enjoy exploring the crossroads between philosophy, science, and spirituality.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joyce Kilmartin

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jack Oughton

  8. 4 out of 5

    Blaine

  9. 4 out of 5

    M S

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Goodman

  11. 5 out of 5

    Du Vaughn

  12. 5 out of 5

    Avery More

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

  14. 5 out of 5

    Granny T.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shetlerjo

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kitap

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Aurelius

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elza

  19. 5 out of 5

    Román

  20. 4 out of 5

    Matthewsorbo

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Roberts

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ivan Silvestre

  23. 5 out of 5

    john

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sue Brooks

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shashank

  26. 5 out of 5

    Piet Aukeman

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brett

  28. 5 out of 5

    Luciana Vichino

  29. 5 out of 5

    Steve Greenleaf

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

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