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Where God and Science Meet [3 Volumes]: How Brain and Evolutionary Studies Alter Our Understanding of Religion [Hardcover]

Patrick McNamara

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Book Description

Oct. 1 2006 0275987884 978-0275987886
Spiritual practices, or awakenings, have an impact on the brain, mind and personality. These changes are being scientifically predicted and proven. For example, studies show that people undergoing intense religious feelings experience a functional change in the lobes of their brain similar to epilepsy, which Hippocrates called "the sacred disease." New research is showing that not only does a person's brain activity change in particular areas while that person is experiencing religious epiphany, but such events can be created for some people, even self-professed atheists, by stimulating various parts of the brain. In this far-reaching and novel three-volume set, experts from around the world present evolutionary, neuroscientific and psychological approaches to explaining and exploring religion, including the newest findings and evidence that have spurred the fledgling field of neurotheology. It is not the goal of neurotheology to prove or disprove the existence of God, but to understand the biology of spiritual experiences. Understanding them - as well as how and why these abilities evolved in the brain - could also help us understand how religion contributes to survival of the human race. Eminent contributors to this set help us answer questions including: How does religion better our brain function? What is the difference between a religious person and a terrorist who kills in the name of religion? Is there one site or function in the brain necessary for religious experience?

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 928 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (Oct. 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275987884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275987886
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.4 x 8.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 Kg

Product Description


"[P]resents the scholar and informed layperson with a fascinating glimpse into the recent evolutionary, neuroscientific, and psychological findings on religion, paying particular attention to the fledgling field of neurotheology....These volumes are written with the undergraduate clearly in mind; however, this exhaustively documented collection has enough breadth and scope to satisfy even the speacialist. In either case, it will prove a handsome addition to the shelves of any university library." - Religious Studies Review

About the Author

PATRICK MCNAMARA is Assistant Professor of Neurology and Director of the Evolutionary Neurobehavior Laboratory in the Department of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, and the VA New England Healthcare System.

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