With the rise of materialism, the concept of ‘soul’ as an inner essence that survives bodily death has become increasingly unfashionable within intellectual circles. In this talk, Paul will introduce his forthcoming book The Shape of the Soul: What Mystical Experience Tells Us About Ourselves and Reality (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). Here he attempts to give substance to soul not by resorting to mind–body dualism but by revitalizing the idealist metaphysics of Leibniz, which takes mind to be fundamental and places the entire world within each one of us. Drawing on mysticism and modern science, he elaborates on this all-inclusive soul or self, and its evolutionary journey to fulfilment.
DR PAUL MARSHALL studied physical sciences and holds a PhD in Religious Studies. His research interests have included mystical experiences of the natural world and the philosophy of consciousness. Details can be found at www.mysticalencounters.com