Andrew B. Newberg
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“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. Andrew B. Newberg sets out the necessary principles, 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 neuro-theology, 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.
"This fascinating book contains everything a person might want to know about the link between theology and the neuro-sciences, a rapidly growing area of scientific investigation. Written by one of the first researchers to examine brain activity during spiritual experiences, this volume lays the basic foundations for this new field of neurotheology. Clearly written and easily accessible, Principles of Neurotheology is filled with information that both scientist and layperson need to know about the neurological basis for religious and spiritual experiences, and should be required reading for anyone interested in the faith-health connection."
-Harold G. Koenig, Duke University
"As neuroscientists present more and more evidence for the claim that religious experiences and beliefs are dramatically influenced by changes in brain activity, people interested in religion (and that should be all of us) clamor for an explanation of the implications of these neuroscientific findings for religion and brain. In Principles of Neurotheology, Andrew B. Newberg gives us a set of tools and principles that can and should guide us when we consider implications of the latest neuroscience for religion and brain. This book is consistently thought-provoking, fertile, innovative, courageous, and brilliant. It is a work of maturity, of someone who has thought deeply about these issues and their life and death consequences for real people. Newberg’s ‘Principles’ will stand as the founding document for the new discipline of neurotheology—a science that has come of age and is poised to revolutionize both neuroscience and theology"
-Patrick McNamara, Boston University School of Medicine
"Drawing on decades of empirical research and engaging centuries-old questions from philosophy and theology, Newberg charts for us both the ‘state of the art’ and a vision for the future of the emerging interdisciplinary field of neurotheology. Carefully acknowledging the complexity of the tasks at hand, Principles of Neurotheology courageously sketches the opportunity and promise of new answers to age-old questions as complex as the soul, God, and free will—a critical resource for researchers and readers engaged in work at the intersection of religion, theology, and science."
-David A. Hogue, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
"In this new book, Andrew B. Newberg is advocating a whole new relationship between religion and science…[he] wants to establish a partnership between that quest and mens quaerens intellectum, the brain seeking to understand. Neurotheology would, of all things, introduce and require a sense of humility and awareness of need of help in both science and religion. The tone of this whole book is an excellent start in that direction."
-Ronald Murphy, S.J., Georgetown Universityback to top ^