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Session 6: Religion

Apr 15, 2011

Neuroscience and Religion

Examining implications of research in the cognitive sciences on understandings of religion, religious practice, and the study of theology.

Recommended reading:

Murphy, N. 1999. “Physicalism Without Reductionism: Toward a Scientifically, Philosophically, and Theologically Sound Portrait of Human Nature.” Zygon 35(4):551-571.

Peterson, G. R., M. Spezio, J. A. Van Slyke, K. Reimer, and W. Brown. 2010. “The Rationality of Ultimate Concern: Moral Exemplars, Theological Ethics, and the Science of Moral Cognition” Theology and Science 8(2):139-161.

Haidt, J. 2009. “Moral psychology and the misunderstanding of religion.” The believing primate: Scientific, philosophical, and theological reflections on the origin of religion. J. Schloss & M. Murray (eds.) New York: Oxford. pp. 278-291.

Pyysia, I., and M.Hauser. 2009. The origins of religion: evolved adaptation or by-product? Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

Russell, R. J., N. Murphy, T.C. Meyering, and M. A. Arbib. Neuroscience and the Person: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action. Berkeley: Vatican Observatory Foundation; Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, 2002.

Trimble, M.R. 2007. The Soul in the Brain: The Cerebral Basis of Language, Art, and Belief. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Newberg, A. B., E. G. D’Aquili, and V. Rause. 2001. Why God won’t go away : Brain science and the biology of belief. New York: Ballantine Books.

Runehov, A.L.C. 2007. Sacred or Neural?: The Potential of Neuroscience to Explain Religious Experience. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

Harris S, S.A. Sheth, M.S. Cohen. 2008. Functional neuroimaging of belief, disbelief, and uncertainty. Annals of Neurology 63:141–7.

Persinger MA. ‘I would kill in God’s name:’ role of sex, weekly church attendance, report of a religious experience, and limbic lability. Perceptual Motor Skills (1997) 85:128–30

Spezio, M.L. 2009. Interiority and Purpose: Emerging Points of Contact for Theology and the Neurosciences.Theology and Science 7(2):119-121.

Ashbrook, J.B., and C.R. Albright. 1997. The Humanizing Brain: Where Religion and Neuroscience Meet.Pilgrim Press.

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