“A fascinating synthesis of religion and science, Anatomy of the Soul offers an illuminating journey through the Bible and the brain that has profoundly practical implications for how to live our lives more fully. Curt Thompson is a passionate student of both ways of knowing, bringing his unique perspective as a practicing psychiatrist and devout Christian to illuminate the overlap between the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament with my own field, interpersonal neurobiology. With an eloquent mastery of the interdisciplinary principles of the mind, the brain, and intimate relationships, our guide illustrates the healing power of integration at the heart of love, compassion, and well-being. Readers from religious and secular backgrounds alike will find this accessible and absorbing intersection of these two worlds to be deeply educational and inspiring.”
— Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
Author, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation. Founding editor, Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology. Executive director, Mindsight Institute
“Curt Thompson probes deeply into the truth of the self in its relational, emotional, and imaginative dimensions beneath the tight technological propensities of our society. He does so with remarkable agility as he moves between his special expertise in neuroscience and his firm grasp of theological verities. His title, a phrase from John Calvin, goes beyond “anatomy as metaphor” in Calvin to take “anatomy” seriously as a dimension in spiritual health. Thompson writes in an accessible way, his argument being illuminated by many specific narratives of persons enroute to deeper health that is grounded and wholistic. This will be, for many readers, a category-changing read.”
— Walter Brueggemann
Columbia Theological Seminary
“There are far too many books these days that insult either your intellect or your faith in God . . . or both. Anatomy of the Soul does just the opposite. In it, Curt Thompson weaves together the very new insights of brain scientists, the ageless wisdom of the Bible, and his own experience as a therapist and follower of Jesus into a genuine volume of hope. There aren’t many psychiatrists I know well enough to enthusiastically recommend, but Curt is certainly at the top of that list.”
— Tony Campolo
Professor emeritus of sociology, Eastern University; author of Red Letter Christians
“Basking in the wisdom of Tyndale author Curt Thompson’s new book, Anatomy of the Soul. Rich, insightful and so healing.”
Author of I Told the Mountain to Move
“I love this book, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand aspects of their own personality that might not always make sense. I felt like I had my own personal psychiatrist—someone who looked beyond the surface and offered practical, yet spiritual help. But be sure to have a pencil in hand while reading this book. I’ve marked up my copy thoroughly.”
Writer, Blog: Contemplative Joy
Read the review >
“A book that merits another read these days is rare. Take advantage of this one.”
–Blogger, Name Unknown
Writer, Blog: The Return
Read the review >
ʺIt seems that more and more books lately are recognizing the need and importance of healthy relationships—with God and with man—in our lives. However, Anatomy of the Soul in particular gives some steps that seem more concrete, more like actual starting steps I can attempt, in moving toward those healthy relationships.ʺ
Writer, Blog: By the Way
Read the review >
“I am overwhelmed at the amount of usable information I have already received and am incorporating into my life experiences and relationships. I anticipate much more as I continue through this incredible journey. The light is dawning!!! I just purchased three books to give as Christmas gift.”
I am so thankful to God for leading me to Anatomy Of The Soul. For years He has shown me [about] right brain / left brain and soul / mind…I had no learning though, as to how to heal or bring the two together in harmony by the prefrontal cortex. I am half way through the book and I can’t wait to see what God will do. I [have] a schizophrenic son, [and] we are both in need of much healing. I have so much hope now that all things are possible! God bless you all!
I so enjoyed reading your book, Anatomy of the Soul, and have recommended it to others. Your writing style makes the science information very easy to understand. Neuroscience back in nursing school was not one of my favorites. Recently, since the death of my younger brother a bit over a year ago, I’ve become more and more interested in how our emotions are impacted by how our minds work. As part of my grieving process God gave me a gift. The gift was EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique. Your explanation of how God wired our brains is extremely similar to how EFT works. I’m thrilled to incorporate what you teach in your book with what I learned through my EFT certification classes to better help my Christian family around me learn life skills to move them through all their emotional phases. Thank you so much for taking the time to add your book to the growing volume of new material showing us that God does truly have a plan for us to achieve an abundant life in Him! God is so very awesome! Blessed Christmas!
I was observing in a 2nd grade handwork class and they were working on sewing. One student (I will call him Seth) was struggling with crooked stitches. I started helping him and somewhere I asked the teacher, across the room, if I could draw a line for him – “Seth is having trouble with his stitches and could use a line – I don’t think Elizabeth needs it.” When I looked back at Seth, his eyes were filled with tears. I quickly took him aside and said, “ I think I know why you are crying – let me paint a picture. You were struggling with your stitches and Mrs. Wilcox asks if you can have a line because your stitches are crooked. She says it so everyone can hear. Did that embarrass you?”
“Yes,” he says.
“Well, that was so wrong of me to say that out loud like that. Would you please forgive me?”
“Yes,” he said with a smile. We went back to work. He told me he didn’t need a line—just a few dots – maybe three. He got to work, but kept himself near me and communicated frequently. He was evaluating each stitch and totally engrossed in his task, far more than before. In a short time his stitches were perfectly straight and he told me he didn’t think he needed any more dots. I moved on to help other students when he came up to me one more time to get my attention.
“Mrs. Wilcox, do you know what really upset me?” he asked. I stopped and looked into his eyes.
“What?” I asked.
“You said that Elizabeth was better than me,” he said with a smile. I was stunned for a moment, and then I remembered my comment.
“I see, I do remember saying that Elizabeth didn’t need a line and I can see how you would have thought that. I am so sorry and didn’t mean that she was better than you. I had completely forgotten I said that” I said. “Seth, I think that was an even worse thing to say. Would you forgive me for that too?” I asked. Looking into his open face, I knew he already had.
I pondered this later and as an educator I learned a few things. Connection matters and helps learning. After an adult brain connected and repaired a relational breach, Seth was able to move from a hurtful interaction to an engagement with learning. He was able to give his full attention to the task before him and even begin to take responsibility for his own progress. He became less dependent on an adult to tell him his stitches were good. More importantly, after the repair, he was able to confidently access more healing for himself. He was able to get in touch with his feelings and trust that an adult could help him work them out.
I don’t always notice, attune, and repair these breaches with students, but I am more inspired now, after this interaction, to observe more closely and care more about these interactions. They are the path to cultivating learners.