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The Spiritual QuestTranscendence  in Myth, Religion, and Science$
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Robert Torrance

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780520081321

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520081321.001.0001

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Biological and Psychological Foundations of the Quest

Biological and Psychological Foundations of the Quest

(p.18) Chapter Two Biological and Psychological Foundations of the Quest
The Spiritual Quest

Robert M. Torrance

University of California Press

Religion as process is one source of the spiritual quest, suggesting that the individual's search, idiosyncratic though it may sometimes seem, gives intensified direction to an impetus shared in some measure with society as a whole. The outcast could not so frequently return as hero or savior if the needs to which she gives voice were not latent in those who initially cast her out. But if the human being is truly animal quaerens, a similar latency will be found in the biological, psychological, and linguistic conditions of human life and culture without which society and religion would themselves be inconceivable. The quest, far from being an incidental activity, gives specifically human shape to processes basic to life. Distinctive of both is direction, or even, in some sense, purpose. Unlike modern physicists, who have rigorously rejected the notion of telos, many biologists find function or purpose a concept fundamental to understanding life.

Keywords:   religion, quest, human being, culture, society, telos

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