ISBN : 9780198747215
Jesus turned water into wine, Mohammad split the moon into two, and Buddha walked and spoke immediately upon birth. According to recent statistics, even in the present age of advanced science and technology, most people believe in miracles. In fact, newspapers and television regularly report alleged miracles, such as recoveries from incurable diseases, extremely unlikely coincidences, and religious signs and messages on unexpected objects.
In this book the award-winning author and philosopher Yujin Nagasawa addresses some of our most fundamental questions concerning miracles. What exactly is a miracle? What types of miracles are believed in the world's great religions? What do recent scientific findings tell us about miracles? Can we rationally believe that miracles have really taken place? Can there be acts that are more religiously significant than miracles? Drawing on a vast variety of fascinating examples from across the major religions, Nagasawa discusses the lively debate on miracles that ranges from reported miracles in ancient scriptures in the East and West to cutting-edge scientific research on belief formation. Throughout, he drives us to ask ourselves if and how we can still believe in in miracles in the twenty-first century.
1: What is a miracle?
2: What miracles are reported in religious texts?
3: Why do so many people believe in miracles?
4: Can we rationally believe in miracles?
5: What are true miracles?
"a thought-provoking book" - Raiyan Azmi, Catholic Herald
"a very fair-minded treatment of miracles" - Paradigm Explorer
"Nagasawa has a fairly detached view of the whole subject, which neither denigrates the believer nor exalts the sceptic ... [He] writes engagingly, and with a relatively easy to understand style ... this is a book I would recommend to both believer and sceptic." - Jonathan Cowie, Science Fact & Science Fiction Concatenation
"Miracles inhabit the human psyche. They evoke intense, polarizing reactions - uncritical acceptance from believers, derisive denial from nonbelievers. In this much-needed book, Yujin Nagasawa, an innovative and fearless philosopher, expands our understanding of miracles and provides a sweeping, thoughtful, penetrating, objective account of their origins and meaning." - Robert Lawrence Kuhn, Creator and Host, PBS TV series Closer To Truth
"'Miracles' is just the sort of topic that is perfect for Oxford University Press's extensive 'Very Short Introductions' series in that it is specific enough to allow for a focused treatment, and yet expansive enough to be of interest to a wide readership...The book would certainly be a helpful addition to any undergraduate course that touches on miracles, particularly because of the many lively illustrations and examples that Nagasawa includes in the text." - Brett Hendrickson, Reading Religion