Neurotheology? “The neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences.”
brain religion
As more research is undertaken using modern and increasingly sophisticated “brain scan” technology, new frontiers are being explored, including in the new field of neurotheology.

An excellent article to introduce the topic is “This is your brain on religion: Uncovering the science of belief” excerpted from “We Are Our Brains: A Neurobiography of the Brain, From the Womb to Alzheimer’s” by D. F. Swaab [Spiegel & Grau, 2014] an imprint of Random House:
we are our brains
“Spiritual experiences cause changes in brain activity, which is logical and neither proves nor disproves the existence of God. After all, everything we do, think, and experience provokes such changes. Findings of this kind merely increase our understanding of the various brain structures and systems that play a role in both “normal” religious experiences and the type of religious experience that is a symptom of certain neurological or psychiatric disorders.”
we-are-our-brains 2
“In this no.1 Dutch bestseller, renowned neuroscientist Dick Swaab presents a biography of the human brain, from infancy to adulthood to old age, revealing how our most mysterious organ predetermines nearly everything about us. Drawing on a half century of his own groundbreaking research, Swaab shows that everything we think, do, and refrain from doing is determined by our brain. In other words, we don’t just have brains; we are our brains.
Swaab takes us on a guided tour of the intricate inner workings that determine our potential, our limitations, our desires and our characters, providing a vivid cross-section of what makes us human. Each chapter serves as an eye-opening window on a different brain stage: the gender differences that develop in the embryonic brain; what goes on in the heads of adolescents; how parenthood permanently changes the brain; the breakdown that leads to Alzheimer’s and other conditions.”
our religious brains
See also “Our Religious Brains: What Cognitive Science Reveals about Belief, Morality, Community and Our Relationship with God” by Rabbi Ralph D. Mecklenberger [Jewish Lights; 2012]

See “This is your brain on religion: Uncovering the science of belief”

“Emerging research suggests that generalized religious belief involves cognitive activity that can be mapped to specific brain regions. Now, a new study has found that causal, directional connections between these brain networks can be linked to differences in religious thought. The concept that our belief in religion is associated with the manner in which our brain is wired is an extension of neuroscience research identifying the flow of information within the brain….Researchers from the National Institute on Aging and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, analyzed data collected from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies to evaluate the flow of brain activity when religious and non-religious individuals discussed their religious beliefs.”

See also:


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