Moral and Social Consequences [Second edition]
by Abdu’l-Missagh Ghadirian
This book advocates for a sensible balance between the spiritual and material aspects of life.
Materialism continues to have a devastating impact on societies and individuals throughout the world. Examining psychological, sociological and spiritual perspectives and substantiated by extensive scientific research, this book focus on the moral and social consequences of materialistic mindsets and challenges the view that matter is the centrepiece of life –a view that denies spirituality, conscience and feeling. It advocates for a sensible balance between the spiritual and material aspects of life as two pillars of an equitable civilization.
Originally published in 2010, this updated and expanded edition (2017) now includes valuable insights on materialism and mental health, bioethics and climate change, in addition to its original challenges to the unbridled accumulation of wealth leading to the inequities, economic injustices and corruption of our modern world. These are not only economic issues; extremes of wealth and poverty are also a moral dilemma. The author discusses the roles of egotism, arrogance and indifference to the plight of millions who die each year from starvation and disease. Such indifference, as well as the deterioration in human behaviour, are rooted in the loss of values and spiritual perspectives on life.
The first edition of this book received the Distinguished Scholarship award of the Association for Bahá’í Studies in 2011.
Dr Abdu’l-Missagh Ghadirian is a Professor Emeritus of McGill University, Faculty of Medicine, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. As author, educator and researcher, he has published extensively on psychosocial and spiritual issues and spoken at many universities and public events around the world. Among his publications in recent years are Creative Dimensions of Suffering (2009) and Steadfastness in the Covenant: Responding to Tests and Tribulations (2014). His current interest is the exploration of the interrelationship between religion and science in the advancement of civilization.
Dr. Ghadirian has clearly described cutting-edge research showing how a personal focus on money, possessions, and status undermines both our own and other people's well-being. His book also takes past critiques of consumerism two important steps forward. First, he extends the empirical work into some of the crucial moral and social dilemmas facing our world today by describing how people's focus on the accumulation of consumer goods is relevant to endemic poverty and ecological destruction. Second, he has done a fine job in the difficult task of integrating insights from science with that of a spiritual faith tradition, demonstrating how both call for a reduction in materialistic strivings and a focus on other, more healthy aims in order to improve the state of our lives and our world. To my knowledge, this is the first book to systematically connect the empirical work on materialism with the teachings of a particular faith.
-- Tim Kasser, Ph.D., Professor & Chair of Psychology, Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, USA, author of The High Price of Materialism (2002, MIT Press).
216 x 138 mm ( 8.5 x 5.5 ins)