The Neuroscience of Religious Experience

Recent technical advances in the life and medical sciences have revolutionized our understanding of the brain, while the emerging disciplines of social, cognitive, and affective neuroscience continue to reveal the connections of the higher cognitive functions and emotional states associated with religious experience to underlying brain states At the same time, a host of dRecent technical advances in the life and medical sciences have revolutionized our understanding of the brain, while the emerging disciplines of social, cognitive, and affective neuroscience continue to reveal the connections of the higher cognitive functions and emotional states associated with religious experience to underlying brain states At the same time, a host of developing theories in psychology and anthropology posit evolutionary explanations for the ubiquity and persistence of religious beliefs and the reports of religious experiences across human cultures, while gesturing toward physical bases for these behaviors What is missing from this literature is a strong voice speaking to these behavioral and social scientists as well as to the intellectually curious in the religious studies community from the perspective of a brain scientist.
The Neuroscience of Religious Experience Recent technical advances in the life and medical sciences have revolutionized our understanding of the brain while the emerging disciplines of social cognitive and affective neuroscience continue

  • Title: The Neuroscience of Religious Experience
  • Author: Patrick McNamara
  • ISBN: 9780521889582
  • Page: 356
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “The Neuroscience of Religious Experience”

    1. من الأسئلة التي كانت -ومازالت- تدور في رأسي؛ هي: هل من الممكن أن نُثبتَ بشكل علمي أثرَ القرآن على العقل والروح؟ وهل هناك طرق بحثية نستطيع من خلالها قياس هذا الأثر؟ فقررتُ أن أقرأ هذا الكتاب (التجربة الدينية في ضوء علم الأعصاب) للأستاذ في كلية طب جامعة بوسطن باترِك مكنمارا.الكت [...]

    2. This book skillfully brings the study of the brain to bear on multiple and complex strands of thought on subjects equally diverse: religion, mental health, executive function (goal achievement), personal and cultural transformation. Original, illuminating.

    3. This was interesting, albeit a bit dry and tenuously conceptual at times. McNamara's starting thesis, that the ubiquity and core similarity of religious practices across all human cultures and throughout time indicates that religious behavior has been subject to natural selection, is quite plausible and, frankly, obvious. His arguments for what exact benefits religious behavior provides, however, are a bit more questionable, not in that they don't make sense, but in that they are difficult if no [...]

    4. This book is illuminating but slightly over-ambitious. The author convincingly demonstrates that there is a relatively clear neural correlate of religious experience. The Pahnke (1967) model is used to define religious experiences with a particular emphasis on personal transformation. The thesis is that religion is an adaptation that can play a vital role in sustaining a coherent and robust executive Self through continuous transformations that attempt to resolve internal conflicts. Ample suppor [...]

    5. Simply the best text I have read on the topic This is a comprehensive work that addresses the complex interrelationships among neuroscience, neurology, psychology, psychiatry and a variety of religious experiences, including hallucinations and seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy, frontal lobe damage, and other brain injuries, always careful to distinguish correlations from causation. His grasp of the many subtle differences among religious experiences demonstrates the true expert's command of his [...]

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