At the heart of Buddhism is a simple claim: The reason we suffer—and the reason we make other people suffer—is that we don’t see the world clearly. At the heart of Buddhist meditative practice is a radical promise: We can learn to see the world, including ourselves, more clearly and so gain a deep and morally valid happiness.
In this “sublime” (The New Yorker), pathbreaking book, Robert Wright shows how taking this promise seriously can change your life—how it can loosen the grip of anxiety, regret, and hatred, and how it can deepen your appreciation of beauty and of other people. He also shows why this transformation works, drawing on the latest in neuroscience and psychology, and armed with an acute understanding of human evolution.
This book is the culmination of a personal journey that began with Wright’s landmark book on evolutionary psychology, The Moral Animal, and deepened as he immersed himself in meditative practice and conversed with some of the world’s most skilled meditators. The result is a story that is “provocative, informative and...deeply rewarding” (The New York Times Book Review), and as entertaining as it is illuminating. Written with the wit, clarity, and grace for which Wright is famous, Why Buddhism Is True lays the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age and shows how, in a time of technological distraction and social division, we can save ourselves from ourselves, both as individuals and as a species.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Nearly a decade in the making, The Evolution of God is a breathtaking re-examination of the past, and a visionary look forward.
In Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, Wright asserts that, ever since the primordial ooze, life has followed a basic pattern. Organisms and human societies alike have grown more complex by mastering the challenges of internal cooperation. Wright's narrative ranges from fossilized bacteria to vampire bats, from stone-age villages to the World Trade Organization, uncovering such surprises as the benefits of barbarian hordes and the useful stability of feudalism. Here is history endowed with moral significance–a way of looking at our biological and cultural evolution that suggests, refreshingly, that human morality has improved over time, and that our instinct to discover meaning may itself serve a higher purpose. Insightful, witty, profound, Nonzero offers breathtaking implications for what we believe and how we adapt to technology's ongoing transformation of the world.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Thirteen centuries later, this thorough and reliable guide by J. Robert Wright enables today's readers to follow the major English translations of Bede's work and to understand exactly what Bede was saying, what he meant, and why his words and account remain so important. Wright'sCompanion to Bede provides the answers to most questions that careful, intelligent readers of Bede are apt to ask. Despite the countless numbers of books and articles about Bede, there is no other comprehensive companion to his text that can be read in tandem with the medieval author himself.
A Giniger book
One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism gathers twenty-one articles from distinguished church historians, literary historians, and ecumenists -- all written in honor of the Reverend Canon J. Robert Wright, St. Mark's Professor of Ecclesiastical History at The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, who has been an inspiration to a generation of students and colleagues. The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, has written a foreword that complements the work of contributors such as S. W. Sykes, Richard A. Norris Jr., and George Tavard, among others. Though these articles differ in individual subject, they cohere in their relation to Dr. Wright's expertise as a theologian, a historian, a medievalist, an ecumenist, and above all a man of the church.
Victor Lee Austin
Walter R. Bouman
Marsha L. Dutton
E. Rozanne Elder
C. Christopher Epting
John V. Fleming
R. William Franklin
Patrick Terrell Gray
Robert Bruce Mullin
Richard A. Norris Jr.
Robert W. Prichard
William G. Rusch
S. W. Sykes
Ellen K. Wondra
The night of October 30, 1995, was like no other in Canadian history. The young, modern nation that the UN Human Development Index had ranked #1 for the two previous years now faced its greatest challenge: the possibility of fracturing as Quebecers made a fateful decision—whether to separate from Canada—in a referendum that pollsters estimated would be as close as close could be.
The Quebec-sovereignist juggernaut that began with the creation of the Parti Quebecois in 1968 climaxed in the provincial referendum on October 30th. On that extraordinary evening, Canadians from all walks of life, in every region of the country, sat glued to their television screens as polling results trickled in from across Quebec. Unlike the 1980 referendum, when the victory of the federalist No vote led by Pierre Trudeau was a foregone conclusion, the 1995 race was a dead heat. All evening, the returns pitched and rolled, and anxious Canadians pitched and rolled along with them. In the end, the No vote won by the narrowest of margins, 50.58% to 49.42%. This was no euphoric victory, no easy vindication of Sir John A. Macdonald's federalist dream. Never before had the country come face to face with its own imminent extinction.
In The Night Canada Stood Still, Robert Wright revisits the drama and intrigue that brought Quebecers, and indeed all Canadians, to the very edge of this watershed event.
In this fascinating portrait of an unusual relationship between two enigmatic world leaders, author and historian Robert Wright brings to life three days of Canadian politics played out on the international stage. In a revealing look at both leaders’ personalities and political ideologies, Wright shows how these two towering figures—despite their official positions as allies of rival empires—determinedly refused to exist merely as handmaidens to the United States and forged a long-lasting relationship.
Robert Wright famously explained in The Moral Animal how evolution shaped the human brain. The mind is designed to often delude us, he argued, about ourselves and about the world. And it is designed to make happiness hard to sustain.
But if we know our minds are rigged for anxiety, depression, anger, and greed, what do we do? Wright locates the answer in Buddhism, which figured out thousands of years ago what scientists are only discovering now. Buddhism holds that human suffering is a result of not seeing the world clearly—and proposes that seeing the world more clearly, through meditation, will make us better, happier people.
In Why Buddhism is True, Wright leads readers on a journey through psychology, philosophy, and a great many silent retreats to show how and why meditation can serve as the foundation for a spiritual life in a secular age. At once excitingly ambitious and wittily accessible, this is the first book to combine evolutionary psychology with cutting-edge neuroscience to defend the radical claims at the heart of Buddhist philosophy. With bracing honesty and fierce wisdom, it will persuade you not just that Buddhism is true—which is to say, a way out of our delusion—but that it can ultimately save us from ourselves, as individuals and as a species.