A New Renaissance

Transforming Science, Spirit and Society

Edited by David Lorimer and Oliver Robinson

Out of print

Quick Look

  • A cutting-edge collection of essays responding to the crises in today's world
  • Essays span diverse areas including science, spirituality, consciousness, politics, economics and education
  • Contributors include Chris Clarke, the Prince of Wales and Max Payne

A collection of important essays which diagnoses the sources of the crisis in today's world and searches for new understanding to show a way forward. Covers science, spirituality, consciousness, politics, economics and education.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Philosophy of the Natural World; Philosophy of Human Life
312 pages
Publication date:
21 Oct 2010


This book diagnoses an urgent need for change and renewal in a period of crisis for philosophy, science and society. The Florentine Renaissance, some six hundred years ago, took a huge leap forward into realism, rationality and self-awareness. It was born out of the waning authority of medieval institutions and beliefs.

We stand now at a similar junction in history. It is apparent to many that reductionist science with its materialist values -- the worldview that has driven modern culture for the last two centuries -- is losing credibility. Its objectives of growth and acquisition, and its guiding principles asserting that there is no intrinsic meaning to life or purpose in the cosmos, are now widely seen as creating an unsustainable world.

The essays gathered in A New Renaissance are a cultural response to the failings of the materialist worldview. Contributions in the first part diagnose the sources of the crisis in today’s world. The second section searches for a new understanding of consciousness and mind, based on findings in recent non-materialist philosophy. The third section looks to a renewal of spirituality beyond religion, aiming to recapture the personal depth and connection to the cosmos that materialism denies or ignores. The fourth section examines possible reforms in politics, economics and education to help bring forth a society that can sustain the flourishing of human beings in the globally interconnected world of the twenty-first century.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Choice Before Us David Lorimer

Part 1: Worldviews in Transition

1. The World’s Health Problem: An Integral Diagnosis
Ervin Laszlo
2. Celebrating Crisis: Towards a Culture of Cooperation
Elisabet Sahtouris
3. The Greater Copernican Revolution and the Crisis of the Modern World View
Richard Tarnas
4. Recapturing the Whole: Brain Hemispheres and the Renewal of Culture
Iain McGilchrist
5. Reinventing the Human Species: An Evolutionary Crossroads
Frank Parkinson
6. Restoring Harmony and Connection: Inner and Outer
HRH Prince of Wales
7. Modernity and the Transmodern Shift
Oliver Robinson

Part 2: Consciousness and Mind in Science and Medicine

8. Mind and Neurons: Consciousness and Brain in the Twenty-First Century
Larry Dossey
9. New Science, New Earth
Chris Clarke
10. The Credit Crunch for Materialism and the Possible Renewal of Science
Rupert Sheldrake
11. Parapsychology and the New Renaissance
David Luke
12. Any Dream Won’t Do: Changing our Minds about Consciousness
Paul Devereux
13. Thinking about Thought
F. David Peat

Part 3: Spirituality and New Understandings of the Sacred

14. Who are We and Why are We Here?
Anne Baring
15. The Spiritual Imperative: Elegant Simplicity is the Way to Discover Spirituality
Satish Kumar
16. Beyond the Material: The New Renaissance and Agnostic Spirituality
Max Payne
17. From Sacred Ecology to Sacred Health
Henryk Skolimowski
18. A Pathway Towards the One True Religion and Spirituality
James D’Angelo
19. Returning to Natural Mind
Peter Russell

Part 4: Global and Local Transformation: Governance, Economics and Education

20. Towards a Politics for the Twenty-First Century: Psyche, Polis, Cosmos
Jean Hardy
21. Towards a New Renaissance in Good Governance
Chris Wright
22. Transforming the Economy
Peter Bowman
23. Music and the Arts in a Possible Future
Clement Jewitt
24. The Virtues of Uncertainty: A Character Curriculum for the Learning Age
Guy Claxton
25. Why Schooling is a Major Contributor to the Crisis: and What Can Be Done About It
Ian Cunningham

Appendix: Manifesto for Change: Crisis as Opportunity


'The editors of "A New Renaissance" did a great job in gathering very descriptive but factual information and creating a clear and logical overview of everything that is involved with global transformation. The valuable element of this book is that the theories treated in these essays are all based on scientific research.

'Especially for those who know all the facts and figures behind the theories of global transformation, this book will fill in a lot of the missing pieces. Teaching us how now is a time of great hope for a better future!'
-- Juul Hochstenbach, Choice Point Magazine

'… this path-breaking book, which richly deserves the label of "manifesto" for an alternative worldview. Anyone with a serious, non-superficial concern for the future of humankind simply must read it.'
-- Richard House, New View


David Lorimer is Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network, an international group of academics and professionals dedicated to an open-minded exploration of the boundaries of science.

Dr Oliver Robinson is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich, London, an Honorary Teaching Fellow at Birkbeck College, and a manager of the Scientific and Medical Network.

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