Also written by Eleanor Stoneham:
Healing This Wounded Earth: with Compassion, Spirit and the Power of Hope
A book for all who care about their future.
Global economic crisis, healthcare in need of healing, violence on our streets, too little spirituality, too much
materialism,and other contemporary issues. How between us can we build good community, a better and stronger
economy, a more empathic health service, a greener environment, a healthier media, a healing creativity; in other
words an altogether better world and a happier you and me!
Published by O Books in January 2011 and also available at Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com , and at all good bookshops
and online booksellers.
Amazon offer free Kindle App. for reading Kindle version
Eleanor Stoneham describes how it was during a challenging period in her own life that she took inspiration from Henri
Nouwen's book The Wounded Healer.
She then went on to research and explore where else one can find the compassion and vulnerability expressed to help
heal our own wounds and in parallel those of the world around us. In each chapter she carefully and clearly states her
aim...Although a Christian herself, the reach is broad and she mentions most of the great religions and schools of
philosophical thought. There is a judicious use of quotes and many familiar names and thoughts and yet the book seems
fresh and new.
The basic thesis that we have to heal ourselves to heal the world is explored sensitively...
She describes the difficult issues of our day - consumerism, using up the planet's natural resources, the role of faith today
as well as economic and spiritual considerations.
I thoroughly recommend this book."
Other post publication reviews for Healing This Wounded Earth:
April 2012 Reviewed by Moragh Mason for Greenspirit
The idea for this book emerged during a turbulent period in
the author's life. As she moved through the healing process herself, Eleanor Stoneham wondered how we could hope to
heal the world when so many of us have mental and spiritual wounds which produce destructive behaviour (pg 1).
The book is a call to action - to heal our wounds and our
fractured society, and most importantly halt the violence we are inflicting on this planet before it's too late. She points
out that, through increasing urbanisation, most of us have lost contact with the land and the soil (pg 16) and as a result
part of our soul has died. She draws on the myth of Chiron, wise centaur and wounded healer, and explores the
difference between being healed and being cured, which tends to be the focus in modern medicine.
Stoneham writes from a Christian perspective but draws on the wisdom of other religious traditions as well. She assures
readers that her message is for those of all faiths or none: what matters is that they possess 'the honesty of intention'
(pg 235). She tackles big questions such as how we move into a new era of social responsibility, lay the foundations of a
just society and reform our economic system so that we value people and not money.
What made a deep impression on me was a remark made by a Scottish crofter, who said that we need change not at the
grass-roots level but at the tap-roots, which are rooted in the 'ancient spiritual bedrock' (pg 121). She gives plenty of
sources of information so that people can explore these issues further.
Stoneham then delves into the history of soul medicine and details how it was inextricably linked with spirituality and the
whole person in mankind's distant past (pg 162), until it was abandoned in the modern era with the rise of medical
science. She draws on the work of two twentieth century writers previously unknown to me: Eric J Cassell, an American
physician, and English Methodist preacher Leslie D Weatherhead, who wrote a thesis on the links between psychology,
religion and healing.
Apart from giving insight into the works of these authors, Stoneham shows that, despite the best efforts of the shiny
new world of techno-scientific medicine, the soul-centred, holistic stream has never gone away. Finally, she explores
healing through creativity. She points out that creativity can hurt as well as heal, for example when creative energies are
put into devising things like violent computer games (pg 207). Unfortunately we seem to have an inbuilt fascination with
gruesome images and this is exploited to the full in our society (pg 208). Healing creativity can be found through dance,
poetry and other arts but no less so through baking, scientific exploration or parenting (pg 225).
In her introduction, the author says she hopes that people will use her book as a basis for discussion, whether in a book
club or faith group, and that each reader will choose and pursue at least one action that appeals, thus contributing to
healing this fractured and increasingly dangerous world, starting a ripple of hope for the future (pg 14). There is certainly
plenty of thought-provoking material here, it comes from the heart and, as Iain McGilchrist says in his foreword, ' the
message of this book ... is a wise one, and I have no doubt that the world would be a much better place if only we could
bring ourselves to heed it' (pg 5).
"Within a few pages ... I was making a mental list of all the friends and colleagues I wanted
to give or lend this book to. I loved reading this book and am sure will turn to it again in the
From review by Dr Yvonneke Roe GP in London, in Network Review, Journal of the Scientific and Medical Network
January 2012. Yvonneke contiues:
In this short and thoroughly accessible book a free- thinking scientific Christian author rebukes militant atheists,
defends all religions and offers refreshingly new ideas for building religious tolerance.
Are God, Jesus and Religion overdue for a makeover?
Pre Publication reviews:
"A refreshing and timely perspective on the spiritual condition of our times..."
David Lorimer, Programme Director of the international Scientific and Medical Network.
"In her new book Dr Eleanor Stoneham... presents the rational evidence to demonstrate
that the genuine religious quest has just as good a claim as the scientific method to be a
search for truth.
David Hay, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Dept. of Divinity & Religious Studies King’s College Aberdeen
Other Post Publication Reviews:
"A Joy to Read..." Melanie Carroll, author and inspirational keynote speaker, at thegoodbookstall.org.uk :
Why religions work could almost be called ‘a manifesto for religion in refutation of the atheist
rhetoric’, because at the end of the day that’s pretty much how this book works.
In light of some of the atheistic and humanist agendas religion has become an object that is often spurned,
rejected and ridiculed within secular society and yet this is without regard to its values, benefits and its
underpinning structures to much of that society.
Eleanor Stoneham puts forward, within the course of the book, an attempt to argue the objective point (based
on scientific models of rationale) that religion of any type is an important and integral structure to society, and
indeed it cannot - as many of it’s opponents seem to put forward - be sidelined because despite the opposing
rhetoric, religion is fundamental and integral to more of the worlds populace than not, therefore the arguments
against religion are largely flawed and lacking in real scientific basis. Throughout this book Stoneham puts
forward evidence for why religion is necessary, logical and of value, flagging up not only the standard religions
but also newer modes of religion too.
At times I can see that some might argue that what is being offered is not as such an argument for religions so
much as for the spiritual, but then as the author does try to point out and reconcile there is some degree to
which the spiritual, for all it’s own rhetoric these days, cannot be without the underpinning of a religion to
structure it, form it, share it and maintain it. Few things exist in vacuum after all.
This is an excellent book for those who want to look deeper at how religion is key to society and for those
wanting perhaps a stronger line of refutation of the secular humanist rhetoric that is not tied to a single religion
or faith, but rather upholds the place of faith as found in religions and within the psyche and society of
humankind as a necessary thing. (The book) ...is not a harsh critique or condemnation but rather is:
well reasoned, researched and provides a gentle but firm refutation of others ill-formed
arguments, thus making it a joy to read.
This book will challenge the "spiritual but not religious." It will make the faithful think. It will test those convinced
that their religion or faith is the only way to enlightenment, the only path to Truth.
And it will help lay persons and clergy alike relate church tradition to the wider world of science, spirituality and
"The book looks beautiful and reads even better" - Charles Foster - writer, barrister, traveller.
"Readers will find a lot to think about in this book. All in all, Stoneham has done a good job here, and I
recommend the book whole-heartedly for its sincerity and hard-hitting articulacy."
Dr Stuart Hannabuss, Honorary Chaplain, University of Aberdeen: Network The Journal of Women Word
Spirit - Spring Issue No 114 March 2013
"Eleanor takes on the criticisms of the "new atheists" in this short and erudite book about the spiritual condition
of our time...Eleanor is a voice of sanity in the frenzied debate generated by the passion of new atheism."
David Lorimer in Network Review, Journal of the Scientific and Medical Network
"Her contribution is worthwhile,
and Why Religions Work is an
enjoyable and well written
defence of religion in the
Her work shifts gears towards
its conclusion. After setting out
her defence of religion,
Stoneham begins to articulate an agenda for the future, particularly drawing upon recent
developments in science and areas of convergence with religion."
From a detailed review in the magazine On Religion Summer 2013