"Neurotheology" has garnered substantial attention in the academic and lay communities in recent years. Several books have been written addressing the relationship between the brain and religious experience and numerous scholarly articles have been published on the topic, some in the popular press. The scientific and religious communities have been very interested in obtaining more information regarding neurotheology, how to approach this topic, and how science and religion can be integrated in some manner that preserves both. If neurotheology is to be considered a viable field going forward, it requires a set of clear principles that can be generally agreed upon and supported by both the theological or religious perspective and the scientific one as well. Principles of Neurotheology sets out the necessary principles of neurotheology which can be used as a foundation for future neurotheological discourse. Laying the groundwork for a new synthesis of scientific and theological dialogue, this book proposes that neurotheology, a term fraught with potential problems, is a highly useful and important voice in the greater study of religious and theological ideas and their intersection with science.
"With the advent of the modern cognitive neurosciences, along with anthropological and historical research, the scientific study of religious and spiritual phenomena has become far more sophisticated and wide-ranging. It suggests answers as to how and why religion became so prominent in human societies and in human consciousness. Neurotheology--a term coined by Aldous Huxley in 1962 in his novel Island and introduced into the scientific literature in the 1990s by Newberg and others--explores some of the most controversial positions including the argument that religion was a necessary condition of cohesive societies, morality, and a sense of purpose. The book considers brain development from an evolutionary perspective and assesses how religious and spiritual beliefs and experiences arose and whether such evolutionary evidence eliminates the need for a religious explanation. Newberg demonstrates that religious beliefs and emotions can be both beneficial and detrimental in people's lives. For some, religion provides a means toward compassion, openness, and understanding; others turn to highly destructive acts, as is the case with suicide bombers. What is happening in the brains of such people? Are they pathological? And what of practices such as meditation, prayer, and the ingestion of psychoactive substances? Neuroimaging studies can show how these practices affect people in the moment and over a lifetime. Finally, the book investigates the deeper implications of a neurotheological approach. Does the neuroscientific study of religion negate any or all of the truth claims of religion? How does neurotheology address the "big questions" such as: What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? And what is the true nature of reality?"--
Religion is often cast in opposition to science. Yet both are deeply rooted in the inner workings of the human brain. With the advent of the modern cognitive neurosciences, the scientific study of religious and spiritual phenomena has become far more sophisticated and wide-ranging. What might brain scans of people in prayer, in meditation, or under the influence of psychoactive substances teach us about religious and spiritual beliefs? Are religion and spirituality reducible to neurological processes, or might there be aspects that, at least for now, transcend scientific claims? In this book, Andrew Newberg explores the latest findings of neurotheology, the multidisciplinary field linking neuroscience with religious and spiritual phenomena. He investigates some of the most controversial—and potentially transformative—implications of a neurotheological approach for the truth claims of religion and our understanding of minds and brains. Newberg leads readers on a tour through key intersections of neuroscience and theology, including the potential evolutionary basis of religion; the psychology of religion, including mental health and brain pathology; the neuroscience of myths, rituals, and mystical experiences; how studies of altered states of consciousness shed new light on the mind-brain relationship; and what neurotheology can tell us about free will. When brain science and religious experience are considered together in an integrated approach, Newberg shows, we might come closer to a fuller understanding of the deepest questions.
This book makes the startling claim that the pulpit is the appropriate place to address suicide. In A Preacher’s Guide to Suicide Johnson chisels through the rusty prison bars of cultural pretense and the oppressive myths of suicide. Using history, the social and behavioral sciences, and biblical inquiry over the centuries of varied Christian voices, Johnson demonstrates that suicide is part of the very fabric of Christian identity. And to preach suicide awareness is to preach life into the very act of dying. While grappling with the contemporary understanding of neuroscience, psychopathology, societal values, and individualism, Johnson seeks to present suicide in a hopeful light as we all approach death in those daily moments of confession, forgiveness, and prayer. Johnson hopes to provoke further conversation within the Christian community about the richness of suicide within the Scriptures and seeks to be a source of inspiration for preachers.
Eight story-reflections, each based on a different Beatitude, offer accounts of immigrant children who fled Central America on their own to escape violence and poverty. Artwork created by immigrant youth and meditations written by Jesuit Father Leo O'Donovan accompany the stories.
This volume contains the results of research into the dialogue between theology and biology, particularly neuroscience and evolutionary theory. With regard to neuroscience, the representational paradigm is abandoned in favor of the ecological brain theory, which understands the brain as an organ of resonance between the living body and its surrounding environment. In relation to theological epistemology, this account not only leads to fruitful convergences, but also shows that revelation, as perception of God’s triune presence in creation, has to be understood as a resonating and non extra-ordinary or general kind of perception, instead of being a special interpretation of experiences that are beyond the ordinary. With regard to the theory of evolution, the Neodarwinian paradigm is expanded with the help of the theory of niche-construction, in which the relationship between organisms and their environment is understood to be reciprocally resonating. This new and emerging paradigm in biology fits to a relational-narrative theological ontology, in which the relationship between the life of the triune God and creation can be modeled on basis of the key metaphor of niche construction understood as a reciprocally resonating dramatic coherence. Theologically, Markus Mühling presents a theory of revelation as perception and a relational-narrative ontology based on the concept of dramatic coherence, in which the triune life is understood not as an exception to ontology, but as the decisive condition of its possibility. For neuroscience and evolutionary theory it provides the insight that taking the concepts of internally related external relata and a phenomenological approach into account leads to new horizons for solving those problems seen in certain older paradigms as posing irreconcilable contradictions. Mühling also argues that a dialogue between theology and the natural sciences – in order to be fruitful – must be maintained in relative dependence and independence, that any such dialogue must take philosophical considerations into account, and that it is decisive for each of the dialogue partners to speak on behalf of their proper and particular areas of research. The proposed results also reflect the author’s participation in the dialogue between leading theologians and scientists at the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton (NJ) on Evolution and Human Nature in 2013.
American Theological Inquiry (ATI) reaches thousands of Christian scholars, clergy, and other interested parties, primarily in the U.S. and U.K. The journal was formed in 2007 by Gannon Murphy (PhD Theology, Univ. Wales, Lampeter; Presbyterian/Reformed) and Stephen Patrick (PhD Philosophy, Univ. Illinois; Eastern Orthodox) to open up space for Christian scholars who affirm the Ecumenical Creeds to contribute research throughout the broader Christian scholarly community in America and the West. The purpose of ATI is to provide an inter-tradition forum for scholars who affirm the historic Ecumenical Creeds of Christendom to constructively communicate contemporary theologies, developments, ideas, commentaries, and insights pertaining to theology, culture, and history toward reforming and elevating Western Christianity. ATI seeks a critical function as much or more so as a quasi-ecumenical one. The purpose is not to erase or weaken the distinctives of the various ecclesial traditions, but to widen the dialogue and increase inter-tradition understanding while mutually affirming Christ's power to transform culture and the importance of strengthening Western Christianity with special reference to Her historic, creedal roots. "Theologians, would-be theologians, and the theologically attentive will want to check out American Theological Inquiry." ~ Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009), First Things
Aldous Huxley Annual is the official publication of the Aldous Huxley Society at the Center for Aldous Huxley Studies in MÃ¼nster, Germany. The Society publishes essays on the life, times, and interests of Aldous Huxley and his circle. It aspires to be the sort of periodical that Huxley would have wanted to read and to which he might have contributed. Aldous Huxley Annual celebrates its 10th anniversary with a special double numbered issue. The chief contributor on this momentous occasion is Aldous Huxley himself. Volume 10/11 contains a treasure trove of new Huxley items - such as letters, poems, stories, talks, proposals, introductions, and playlets - all arranged in chronological order. The contributions date from 1916 and run through 1963, the year of Huxley's death. Moreover, for the first time, Huxley is presented as an accomplished painter - the book's editors are proud to have procured reproductions of five Huxley paintings owned by his grandchildren Teresa and Mark Trevenen Huxley. The concluding section of the book consists of several articles on particular aspects of Huxley's work. (Series: Aldous Huxley Annual - Vol. 10)
Introducing university students to the academic discipline of Christian theology, this book serves as an orientation to "fundamental theology" from a Protestant perspective by addressing issues that are preliminary and foundational to the discipline in the context of a liberal arts university. The book also sets forth what has traditionally been called a "theological encyclopedia", that is, a description of the parts of Christian theology that together form the discipline into a unified academic subject. Finally, the book examines the relation of Christian theology to the arts and sciences within the university and underscores the need for critical and positive interaction with these other academic disciplines.
Debates on the impact of religious traditions upon secular politics have raged throughout the last century and continue today. Exposing the ambiguity of secularity in political life, Jon Wittrock investigates the contemporary relevance of the scared beyond established religious communities and within wider civic society. In the context of globalization, characterized by the spread of capitalist commodification and new technologies of transportation and communication, determining the legitimacy of democratic nation-states is particularly urgent. Questioning ontological challenges to democracy, this book confronts the public narratives, symbols and rituals of the political domain. It analyses modern scholarship on the impact of eschatological figures of thought on government and political ideologies, what hopes there are for universal rights or justice, and the “public worship” of contemporary democracies. Bridging the analytical and continental sides of the philosophical divide, this book draws upon conceptual analysis as well as phenomenology and deconstruction. It advocates neither a left- nor a right-wing political approach, but seeks to outline what political secularization could and should mean.
What would happen if you faced your doubts, set aside your preconceptions, and decided to follow the path of truth wherever it might lead? Most people, whether believers or atheists, doggedly defend what they have always believed. Many see this as an expression of faith. Yet, there is something almost inexpressibly sad about the plight of people living out their lives in reliance upon beliefs they dare not question. Perhaps that is why many of us come to a point at which we feel compelled to pursue the truth, no matter what the implications. But even if we found the courage to embark upon such a journey, could we really find a path through the scientific, philosophical, experiential, and theological thickets that surround the great questions of life? And if we did, would we know the truth and be set free? Would we be forced to face a long-feared despair? Or would we find ourselves still staring impotently at an enigmatic universe? This is a book unlike any other. It addresses these questions with unflinching honesty, drawing evidence from a diversity of scientific fields and subjecting the competing arguments to rigorous skeptical analysis.
If we wish to understand ourselves and the world in relation to God, what contribution to our understanding should we expect from a Christian tradition with its roots in the Bible, and what should we expect from the natural sciences? Neil Messer sets out five types of answer to that question. The responses range from the view that the Christian tradition has nothing to contribute, through various forms of dialogue, to the claim that science is irrelevant to theological understanding. This classification scheme is illustrated and tested by extended explorations of three topics in the science and theology field: how to think about God's action in the world, how to make theological sense of the suffering and destruction involved in the evolution of life, and how theology should respond to the scientific study of religion. The classification offers a way to understand and evaluate these debates, and the discussion of specific examples demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of each type of approach. The book concludes with suggestions for how readers might use this scheme to guide their own work on science and theology. For students and researchers in science and theology, this book offers three things: a tool for understanding specific debates in science and theology, critical surveys of some of the most important debates in the field, and a concise guide to ways of setting up encounters of theology with science.
This book is designed to offer a comprehensive high-level introduction to transhumanism, an international political and cultural movement that aims to produce a “paradigm shift” in our ethical and political understanding of human evolution. Transhumanist thinkers want the human species to take the course of evolution into its own hands, using advanced technologies currently under development – such as robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cognitive neurosciences, and nanotechnology – to overcome our present physical and mental limitations, improve our intelligence beyond the current maximum achievable level, acquire skills that are currently the preserve of other species, abolish involuntary aging and death, and ultimately achieve a post-human level of existence. The book covers transhumanism from a historical, philosophical, and scientific viewpoint, tracing its cultural roots, discussing the main philosophical, epistemological, and ethical issues, and reviewing the state of the art in scientific research on the topics of most interest to transhumanists. The writing style is clear and accessible for the general reader, but the book will also appeal to graduate and undergraduate students.
The visionary legacy of Aldous Huxley is as relevant today as ever. Huxley possessed a sober understanding of the human condition as well as an inspired vision of the human potential. This volume presents an interdisciplinary examination and appreciation of Aldous Huxley’s three visionary novels – Brave New World (1932), Ape and Essence (1948), and Island (1962) – to reveal the extent to which Huxley’s prognoses into our possible futures was prophetic. The author assesses each novel to reveal the foresights that define our current educational, social, religious, political, and economic institutions, while also exposing our conflicts within those institutions. This volume examines the educational, cultural and technological changes that have shaped our society since Huxley’s work, with special reference to the enduring legacy of educational philosopher John Dewey. It offers profound insights into the educational forces and moral foundations of our society that shape us, both inside and outside of our schools. It is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on all three of Huxley’s visionary novels and detail their relevance to our world today.
Religion and science are arguably the two most powerful social forces in the world today. But where religion and science were once held to be compatible, most people now perceive them to be in conflict. This unique book provides the best available introduction to the burning debates in this controversial field. Examining the defining questions and controversies, renowned expert Philip Clayton presents the arguments from both sides, asking readers to decide for themselves where they stand: science or religion, or science and religion? Intelligent Design vs. New Atheism the role of scientific and religious ethics – designer drugs, AI and stem cell research the future of science vs. the future of religion. Viewpoints from a range of world religions and different scientific perspectives are explored, making this book essential reading for all those wishing to come to their own understanding of some of the most important debates of our day.
The New Principia Book 1 deals with the start of the New Principia — important scientific work — related to questions such as “How to find God,” “How to travel in Time”, “Travels in Outer Space” plus "Resolving the Andromeda Paradox" and more with proper explanations and some working methods for handling Ouija Boards, Near Death Experiences, Astral Projection, Hypnosis, Consciousness, Super-intelligent Machines and others. With The New Principia, the sky is not the limit.
Learn to mobilize latent energy in your body and direct it to energize and awaken your higher brain • Provides a simplified step-by-step guided process to the higher-brain activation techniques of Source Code Meditation • Explains how to shift energy out of the lower “survive” brain into the higher “thrive” brain to bring confidence, clarity, and empowerment for transformative change in all areas of life • Reveals how the “brain first” techniques of SCM tune the brain to receive meditation, enabling access to deep flow states, transcendent states of consciousness, and higher brain potential The human brain is like a flowing river of potential. Until now, that river has been blocked, barricaded, and diverted by the primitive lower brain. The lower brain hijacks our ability to experience deeper flow and higher transcendent states of consciousness. It also guards against the full expression of the passionate human heart. Source Code Meditation (SCM), with its nine summits of transformation, effortlessly re-routes that lower brain diversion, allowing you to activate latent energy in your body, awaken your higher brain, enlighten your mind, and set your heart on fire to create a new world. With traditional meditation techniques, it often takes decades of practice for hours each day to confer significant changes in the mind and the higher brain. Few of us make it to these rarified states of mind, due to the amount of time and the intensity of focus needed. With “brain first” SCM techniques, you mobilize latent energy in the body and direct it to energize and awaken the higher brain before meditation begins. With the higher brain prepped and tuned, meditation is efficiently received, leading to quantum breakthroughs in higher consciousness without years of practice as well as access to deep flow states, transcendent states of consciousness, and higher brain potential. Providing a simplified step-by-step guided process to SCM, Dr. Michael Cotton explains how to shift energy out of the lower “survive” brain into the higher “thrive” brain to bring confidence, clarity, and empowerment for transformative change in all areas of life. Distilled from the world’s most comprehensive philosophy, Integral Metatheory, SCM offers not only a way to create the brain state necessary to change the mind, but the crystal clarity needed to use these advanced meditative states to actualize your potential and live your destiny to the fullest.
What is education? How and why do educators do what we do? And, in what way can and ought education be distinctively Christian? These are a few of the probing questions for which this book seeks answers. Among other contributions, Currivean’s book explores a biblical philosophy of Christian education with unprecedented breadth and depth. To accomplish this objective, it considers what education is (chapter 1), what philosophy of education is (chapter 2), and what the ultimate goal of education is (chapter 3). Additionally, this book provides a never-before, Christian overview of twelve philosophies of education (chapters 4–15). Each of those chapters provides an introduction of a particular philosophy of education and some of that philosophy’s exemplars. Each of those chapters also contributes a constructive, Christian critique. Chapter 16 highlights a biblical philosophy of Christian education—featuring some people, some principles, and some priorities for a biblical philosophy of Christian education, viz. pursuing excellence for the glory of God.
In The Spiritual Child, psychologist Lisa Miller presents the next big idea in psychology: the science and the power of spirituality. She explains the clear, scientific link between spirituality and health and shows that children who have a positive, active relationship to spirituality: * are 40% less likely to use and abuse substances * are 60% less likely to be depressed as teenagers * are 80% less likely to have dangerous or unprotected sex * have significantly more positive markers for thriving including an increased sense of meaning and purpose, and high levels of academic success. Combining cutting-edge research with broad anecdotal evidence from her work as a clinical psychologist to illustrate just how invaluable spirituality is to a child's mental and physical health, Miller translates these findings into practical advice for parents, giving them concrete ways to develop and encourage their children's—as well as their own—well-being. In this provocative, conversation-starting book, Dr. Miller presents us with a pioneering new way to think about parenting our modern youth.