Center of Science, Policy and Society Programs: AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion
AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion
News & Events: Public LectureWhy God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief
27 February 2002
This seminar will discuss investigations of brain function
through neuroimaging, specifically studies of the brain processes of meditating
Buddhists and Franciscan nuns at prayer. The chain of neurological events
that is triggered by focused religious contemplation will be described.
These data offer intriguing insights into the human capacity for religious
experience. Do they also imply that religious experience more generally
is simply an expression of the biology of our brains? The significance
of and limitations of such empirical neurological findings for traditional
religious understandings of mystical experience will be discussed.
- Dr. Andrew Newberg, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Hospital
- Dr. Ilia Delio, Assistant Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Washington Theological Union