Brief Authority

By John Poynton

Action & adventure, Environment & nature | Paperback, eBook


Brief Authority gives an insider’s perspective of one of the great issues of our time: the conflict between established materialism embraced by standard science, ‘Dress’d in a little brief authority,’ and the growing holistic, spiritual view. The novel follows the struggles of a retired medically-trained psychiatrist as he becomes caught in this conflict through encounters with a cluster of gifted young people. How may a conventionally trained psychiatrist react when his fixed materialism is challenged? Could he even begin to think the unthinkable, that his entrenched world-view is unsustainable? It is a world-view that proves to be powerful; he finds himself placed on a knife-edge of deadening theory versus living experience.



Serving on university faculty boards of science and medicine gave John Poynton a broad insight into mainstream materialist thinking and its weaknesses. Born in South Africa in 1931, he graduated from the science faculty of the University of Natal (as did Alan Paton) and is an emeritus professor of that university. His scientific research is now centred in London, where he is active in several scientific and cultural organisations. He has published in various areas of the biological sciences as well as in the philosophy of science and in parapsychology, and is author of the novel New Creation, a critique of materialist thinking set in an African game reserve. He studied musical composition at the University of Cape Town and has written music for the stage.


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Serving on university faculty boards of science and medicine gave John Poynton a broad insight into mainstream materialist thinking and its weaknesses. Born in South Africa in 1931, he graduated from the science faculty of the University of Natal (as did Alan Paton) and is an emeritus professor of that university. His scientific research is now centred in London, where he is active in several scie...


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