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ISBN 0-8126-9581-X
$18.95      paper
133 pages

Our Spiritual Crisis
Recovering Human Wisdom in a Time of Violence

Michael N. Nagler
With a Commentary by Lewis S. Mudge

The Fourth Master Hsüan Hua Memorial Lecture

The crisis through which we are passing is a spiritual crisis, a paradigm shift, a painful stage of growth like a snake shedding its skin.  Michael Nagler proclaims that the violence and dehumanization of our culture spring from spiritual impoverishment.
Between the arrogance of scientism and the irresponsibility of commercial advertising, we are conditioned to believe that the fundamental reality is matter.  Yet according to many leading scientists, the basic stuff of the cosmos is consciousness: quantum jumps are the events that ultimately constitute reality.  Humans are not deterministically controlled cogs in a giant machine.
Much traditional religion, religion-without-spirituality, turns out to be ineffective in combating the forces of manipulation and control which lead us into mindless hatred and pointless wars.  Nagler contends that the great spiritual mission of our time is the transition from a religion based on sacrifice to one based on meditation or “concentrated prayer,” interior practice directed toward the more-than-human Reality within us.  And as we cultivate this meditative practice, we also need to become literate in nonviolence, learning the lessons taught by Gandhi before it is too late.

 “In a world where wisdom is in short supply, Michael Nagler pours it forth. This book provides amazing insights for all of us who are trying so hard to transform ourselves and transform the world.”
 —Marianne Williamson
Author of A Return to Love

 “This is a deep, insightful, hard-hitting yet compassionate analysis of and prescription for the spiritual crisis through which we are passing.  I would urge everyone I can think of, whether they consider themselves religious or not, to read it with the care it deserves.”
 —Huston Smith
Author of The World’s Religions

 “It’s a short read, intense, moving, engaging, and important.  I think every college student should be asked to read it at the beginning and middle of their college career, and every graduate student also!  But this is not just for academics—it’s for anyone who wants to see how the wisdom of the ages is the most needed wisdom for our time.”
—Rabbi Michael Lerner
Author of The Left Hand of God

“Michael Nagler’s insights, humor, and passion make this little book a joy to read, and everyone should—teachers and parents, conservatives and progressives, everyone!”
—Joanna Macy
Author of
Coming Back to Life

 Michael N. Nagler, one of the world’s most widely respected peace scholars and activists, is Professor Emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and founder of the University’s Peace and Conflict Studies program.  Among his many writings, he is the author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future, America Without Violence, and Spontaneity and Tradition, and editor of Gandhi on Islam. 


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