In 2023, John Hunt Publishing will release The Creation of Self by Joshua R. Farris. Farris is currently the Humboldt Experienced Researcher Fellow at the University of Bochum in Bochum, Germany, focusing on biologically-engaged religious anthropology. Farris is also a co-project editor and coordinator of the EPS web project on the Philosophy of Theological Anthropology.
From the publisher’s description:
Situated in broader science-and-religion discussions, The Creation of Self is the first book-length defense of a creationist view of persons as souls. This book therefore serves as both a novel argument for God’s creation of selves and as a critique of contemporary materialist and emergent-self alternatives, critically examining naturalistic views that argue for a regular, law-like process behind the emergence of personhood. Author Joshua Farris argues on the assumption that persons are fundamentally unique individuals that look more like singularities of nature, rather than material products grounded in regularity or predictability from past events. By extending the basic intuition that we are unique and mysterious individuals, Farris develops a sophisticated analytic defense of the soul that requires a sufficient explanation not found in nature but made by a Creator who has intentions and the power to bring about novel entities in the world. The Creation of Self gives philosophers, theologians, and the lay intellectual grounding for thinking about persons as religious beings. It aims to help readers understand why recent scientifically motivated objections to the soul are unsuccessful, and why we must consider a religious conception of persons as souls as a common starting point.
Bruce Gordon, Associate Professor of History and Philosophy of Science (Houston Baptist University), says that
Many old-school neuroscientists and philosophers of mind, having retreated to the keep of non-reductive physicalism, seem oblivious to the fact that their materialist position has been overrun both by the evidence, and by panpsychist, dualist, and idealist armies. In this regard, apart from Richard Swinburne, none has been more vigorous in defending the consistency of emergent-creationist dualism with neuroscience, and the necessity of an immaterial mind to a proper understanding of human personhood, than Joshua Farris. With respect to religious issues, Farris is the leader. Those who think that substance dualism is untenable display their doxastic inertia and ignore Farris’ work at their peril.