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Religion, Race, And Neuroscience With Yaa Gyasi

The tension between religion and science dates back centuries. Now, Ghanian-American author Yaa Gyasi is exploring that tension from a new vantage point

In her latest novel “Transcendent Kingdom,” Gyasi unpacks the complexities of mental illness, addiction, and race using science and religion as lenses for examination. 

FromWashington Post critic Ron Charles:

What exactly, though, is “mental weakness”? And to what extent does one’s psychological stamina, one’s resistance to addiction evince a moral quality? What, in other words, makes the human animal keep pressing that lever, despite the pain, the risk of death? These are complicated problems, especially for a neuroscientist who, like Gifty, was raised in an evangelical home

We’ll speak to Gyasi about how she and her characters grapple with these questions and more.

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Haili Blassingame