The study of wisdom is challenging and thought provoking. This volume sheds light on the age-old question: What is wisdom and where does it come from?
Evidence of wisdom can be seen in both perception and performance, in sacred scriptures and in brain images. An eminent group of scholars from fields as diverse as theology, philosophy, medicine, biology, psychology, and linguistics were brought together to bring focus to this understudied area of scientific research.
Editor Warren Brown presents his research on brain functioning, drawn from observing individuals with damage to specific neural areas, to suggest the importance of integration between hemispheres of the brain to comprehend complex situations in a way that may be termed “wise.” Diana Van Lancker also looks at hemispheres of the brain and explores studies that show that left brain functioning is related to prayers, chants, and sayings often used in religious practice.
Wolfgang Mieder, recognized as the foremost scholar in the study of proverbs, explores the secular use of the biblical proverb of “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (Matt. 12:25). R. E. Clements also looks to the book of Proverbs and focuses on its ultimate goal: virtue and wholeness.Back to Tabs
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Introduction: A Hierarchical Framework for Understanding Wisdom 1
Part I: The Sources of Wisdom
1. The Sources of Wisdom 15
2. Profundity with Panache: The Underappreciated Proverbial Wisdom of
Sub-Saharan Africa 35
Stan W. Nussbaum
3. “A House Divided”: From Biblical Proverb to Lincoln and Beyond 57
4. Israel’s Wisdom Literature and the Intrinsic Integrity of Creation 103
5. Wisdom on Death and Suffering 121
6. It Takes Wisdom to Use Wisdom Wisely 135
Robert K. Johnston
Part II: The Science of Wisdom
7. Wisdom Traditions as Mechanisms for Organismal Integration: Evolutionary Perspectives on Homeostatic “Laws of Life” 153
Jeffrey P. Schloss
8. Wisdom and Human Neurocognitive Systems: Perceiving and Practicing the
Laws of Life 193
Warren S. Brown
9. A Neurolinguistic Perspective on Proverbs and the Laws of Life 215
Diana R. Van Lancker
10. On the Emergence of Wisdom: Expertise Development 245
John L. Horn and Hiromi Masunaga
11. The Science of Art: How the Brain Responds to Beauty 277
12. A Scientific Study of Wisdom (Or Its Contributing Parts) 307
Warren S. Brown
Part III: The Learning of Wisdom
13. Wise Emotions 319
14. Setting the Stage for the Development of Wisdom: Self-understanding and Moral Identity During Adolescence 339
15. Lessons Learned: The Role of Religion in the Development of Wisdom in Adolescence 361
James L. Furrow and Linda Mans Wagener
16. Maxims to Live By: The Art and Science of Teaching Wise Sayings 393
Arthur J. Schwartz and F. Clark Power
17. Seeing Wisely – Learning to Become Wise 413
Lawrence M. Hinman
Name and Subject Index 429
Scripture Index 443Back to Tabs