Inner Theatres of Good and Evil

The Mind’s Staging of Gods, Angels and Devils


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SKU: 9780786442607 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

Among the most intriguing questions of neurology is how conceptions of good and evil arise in the human brain. In a world where we encounter god-like forces in nature, and try to transcend them, the development of a neural network dramatizing good against evil seems inevitable. This critical book explores the cosmic dimensions of the brain’s inner theatre as revealed by neurology, cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, psychoanalysis, primatology and exemplary Western performances. In theatre, film, and television, supernatural figures express the brain’s anatomical features as humans transform their natural environment into cosmic and theological spaces in order to grapple with their vulnerability in the world.

About the Author(s)

Mark Pizzato is a professor of theater and film at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte. He has previously published four books and three plays.

Bibliographic Details

Mark Pizzato
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 368
Bibliographic Info: 43 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4260-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5758-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Introduction: The Brain’s Evolving Theatre      1

1. Neural and Prehistoric Signs of the Divine      17

2. Ancient Animal and Human Deities      54

3. One Medieval God—with His Angels and Devils      84

4. From Renaissance Rebirths to Postmodern Experiments      125

5. Cosmic Forces on the Movie Screen      175

6. Millennium in the Home Theatre      227

Conclusion: More Morality with Humans as Gods?      278

Notes      289

Bibliography      323

Index      345

Book Reviews & Awards

“Pizzato traces the ancient roots of theater to the right/left brain hemisphere struggle between primitive limbic system emotion and higher-order cortical functions”—Reference & Research Book News.