Unbelievable : Why We Believe and Why We Don't

3.69 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


Why believe? What kinds of things do people believe in? How have they come to believe them? And how does what they believe - or disbelieve - shape their lives and the meaning the world has for them? For Graham Ward, who is one of the mostinnovative writers on contemporary religion, these questions are more than just academic. They go to the heart not only of who but of what we are as human beings. Over the last thirty years, our understandings of mind and consciousness have changed in important ways through exciting new developments in neuroscience. The author addresses this quantum shift by exploring the biology of believing. He offers sustained reflection on perception, cognition, time, emotional intelligence, knowledge and sensation. Though the 'truth' of belief remains under increasing attack, in a thoroughly secularised context, Ward boldly argues that secularity is itself a form of believing. Pointing to the places where prayer and dreams intersect, this book offers a remarkable journey through philosophy, theology and culture, thereby revealing the true nature of the human condition.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 155 x 228 x 25.4mm | 499g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1780767358
  • 9781780767352
  • 379,244

Table of contents

Introduction : A Winter's Tale

Part One : Belief in the Making

Part Two: Believability

Part Three: The Making of Belief

Conclusion : Lost in Paradise
show more

Review quote

'When we think of beliefs we think of views and ideas, while (a bit more technically) philosophers speak of 'propositional attitudes' or 'judgments'. In his extremely original new book Graham Ward explores operations of belief that go much deeper: dispositions (some of which act at the physiological as well as cultural level), prior to conscious attentiveness, and thus informing perception, interpretation and action prior to rationalization. This is a bold and brilliant thesis, cogently worked out by the author, with ramifications well beyond Christian theology.' - Fergus Kerr, OP, Honorary Fellow, University of Edinburgh, author of Immortal Longings: Versions of Transcending Humanity and of Theology after Wittgenstein 'From ghosts in Cambridge to angels in Ely, from the Lascaux caves to the Brighton of Graham Greene, and from the neurons in our brains to the dust between galaxies, Graham Ward's astonishing ability to command both sciences and humanities is here brought to bear on the mystery of belief. We may think ours a sceptical age, but in fact we are all too gullible; enjoined from all sides to believe in this or that - from the supplements that will give us longer life, to the governments that will cut our taxes - we willingly succumb to such blandishments. For our ability to believe is what makes us truly human, and our ability to believe in believing - to have faith in what we cannot see - is what opens to us the mystery of a believable world; the strange congruence of imagination and reality. In this remarkable book - which is not a work of theology, though written by one of today's most astute and cultured theologians - we are led to see the mystery that we are to ourselves, and so too the possibility of the transcendent from which our world may come.' - Gerard Loughlin, Professor of Theology, Durham University, author of Alien Sex: The Body and Desire in Cinema and Theology
show more

About Graham Ward

Graham Ward is Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford. His books include Barth, Derrida and the Language of Theology, Radical Orthodoxy: A New Theology (edited with John Milbank and Catherine Pickstock), Cities of God, The Certeau Reader, Cultural Transformation and Religious Practice, True Religion, Christ and Culture and Religion and Political Thought.
show more

Rating details

13 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 15% (2)
4 46% (6)
3 31% (4)
2 8% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X