Surveying spiritual and philosophical traditions, this volume revives the search for wisdom for modern times.
What is wisdom and how is it cultivated? These are among the most important questions we can ask, but questions that have been routinely ignored in modern times. In the twentieth century, the search for wisdom was replaced by a search for knowledge as science and technology promised answers to life's ills. However, along with scientific achievements came disasters, particularly the devastation of the planet through the accelerating use of modern technology. In an era drenched in data, a desire for wisdom has been reborn. Where can we go to learn about wisdom? The answer is clear: to the world's great religions and their accompanying philosophies and psychologies. The World's Great Wisdom makes these treasuries available. Practitioners from each of the great religions—as well as from Western philosophy and contemporary research—provide summaries of their traditions' understandings of wisdom, the means for cultivating it, and its implications for the modern world. This book offers distillations of the world's accumulated wisdom—ancient and modern, religious and scientific, philosophical and psychological. It is a unique resource that for the first time in history brings together our collective understanding of wisdom and the ways to develop it.
Roger Walsh, MD is Professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy, and Anthropology and Professor in the Religious Studies Program at the University of California at Irvine. He is the author of several books, including The World of Shamanism: New Views of an Ancient Tradition.