With 2,000 religious denominations and nearly 500,000 churches and temples in the United States, the Bible is not only doctrinally confusing but behaviorally confusing, too. Is it a sin to drink alcohol? Will prayer cure the sick? Is homosexuality an abomination? Why is celibacy so highly valued? Do belief and feminism mix? In this enlightening and entertaining work, Armando Favazza explores these and other questions and examines the impact of the Bible on behavior through time and space—from the Holy Book's gradual formation thousands of years ago to the present day. This is an indispensable work for all those interested in better understanding the foundations of society's—and perhaps even their own—beliefs and behaviors, and is a thought-provoking read for those not afraid to inform—or perhaps even challenge—their faith.
About the Author
Armando R. Favazza is professor of psychiatry at the University of Missouri-Columbia Medical School and internationally renowned for his work on culture and psychiatry. His previous book, Bodies Under Siege, is considered a classic in the field.
Foreword by Marc Galanter. Preface. Introduction. God Bless the God Who Has His Own. Once upon a Time the Devil... Don't Spoil the Soup: Women in the Bible. Comme Ça: Homosexuality and the Bible. God in a Bottle: Alcohol and the Bible. Creeping Things: Animals and the Bible. Something about the Body. Praise the Lord and Pass the Medication: Healing and Feeling Good. True, False, and Useful. Back to God and the Bible: Joy and Suffering. Notes. Bibliography. Index.
"Professor Favazza’s text is a challenge for us all to think seriously about how we developed our religious beliefs and how we use God and religion in our personal and professional lives. Cowards need not pick up this brilliantly written book. Only those courageous enough to explore the nature of their connection—or lack of it—to God and religion."