If you take for granted the widespread assumption of our culture that matter constitutes the totality of reality, this book will challenge that assumption. The pervasive materialist or physicalist presupposition of so much thinking is not scientifically established but is a basic article of naturalistic faith. Professor Hick argues that the widely held belief that consciousness is identical with or a by-product of the functioning of the brain is unsustainable. There is non-physical as well as physical reality. It is entirely possible that there is a divine realm transcending the material universe but encountered in religious experience. He looks carefully at the epistemological implications of this.But Hick also challenges many traditional religious beliefs. He distinguishes between religion as human institutions, which have done as much harm as good in the world, and religion as the inner spiritual response to the Transcendent. Whereas institutional religion has divided humanity, spiritual or mystical experience can unite people of every part of the world.