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Why God Won't Go Away

Why God Won't Go Away
Author: Andrew Newberg, M.D., Eugene G. D'Aquili
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0307493156
Pages: 240
Year: 2008-12-10
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Why have we humans always longed to connect with something larger than ourselves? Why does consciousness inevitably involve us in a spiritual quest? Why, in short, won't God go away? Theologians, philosophers, and psychologists have debated this question through the ages, arriving at a range of contradictory and ultimately unprovable answers. But in this brilliant, groundbreaking new book, researchers Andrew Newberg and Eugene d'Aquili offer an explanation that is at once profoundly simple and scientifically precise: the religious impulse is rooted in the biology of the brain. Newberg and d'Aquili base this revolutionary conclusion on a long-term investigation of brain function and behavior as well as studies they conducted using high-tech imaging techniques to examine the brains of meditating Buddhists and Franciscan nuns at prayer. What they discovered was that intensely focused spiritual contemplation triggers an alteration in the activity of the brain that leads us to perceive transcendent religious experiences as solid and tangibly real. In other words, the sensation that Buddhists call "oneness with the universe" and the Franciscans attribute to the palpable presence of God is not a delusion or a manifestation of wishful thinking but rather a chain of neurological events that can be objectively observed, recorded, and actually photographed. The inescapable conclusion is that God is hard-wired into the human brain. In Why God Won't Go Away, Newberg and d'Aquili document their pioneering explorations in the field of neurotheology, an emerging discipline dedicated to understanding the complex relationship between spirituality and the brain. Along the way, they delve into such essential questions as whether humans are biologically compelled to make myths; what is the evolutionary connection between religious ecstasy and sexual orgasm; what do Near Death Experiences reveal about the nature of spiritual phenomena; and how does ritual create its own neurological environment. As their journey unfolds, Newberg and d'Aquili realize that a single, overarching question lies at the heart of their pursuit: Is religion merely a product of biology or has the human brain been mysteriously endowed with the unique capacity to reach and know God? Blending cutting-edge science with illuminating insights into the nature of consciousness and spirituality, Why God Won't Go Away bridges faith and reason, mysticism and empirical data. The neurological basis of how the brain identifies the "real" is nothing short of miraculous. This fascinating, eye-opening book dares to explore both the miracle and the biology of our enduring relationship with God. From the Hardcover edition.

Why God Won't Go Away

Why God Won't Go Away
Author: Andrew B. Newberg, Eugene G. D'Aquili, Vince Rause
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
ISBN: 034544034X
Pages: 234
Year: 2002
View: 348
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An introduction to the field of neurotheology explores the complex relationship between spiritual belief and the human brain, examining the link between transcendant religious experience and actual neurological events.

Why God Won't Go Away

Why God Won't Go Away
Author: Andrew B. Newberg, Eugene G. D'Aquili, Vince Rause
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
ISBN: 034544034X
Pages: 234
Year: 2002
View: 293
Read: 207

An introduction to the field of neurotheology explores the complex relationship between spiritual belief and the human brain, examining the link between transcendant religious experience and actual neurological events.

Principles of Neurotheology

Principles of Neurotheology
Author: Assoc Prof Andrew B Newberg
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 1409481042
Pages: 286
Year: 2013-06-28
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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. Principles of Neurotheology sets out the necessary principles of neurotheology 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 neurotheology, 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.

How God Changes Your Brain

How God Changes Your Brain
Author: Andrew Newberg, M.D., Mark Robert Waldman
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345512790
Pages: 368
Year: 2009-03-24
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God is great—for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Based on new evidence culled from brain-scan studies, a wide-reaching survey of people’s religious and spiritual experiences, and the authors’ analyses of adult drawings of God, neuroscientist Andrew Newberg and therapist Mark Robert Waldman offer the following breakthrough discoveries: • Not only do prayer and spiritual practice reduce stress, but just twelve minutes of meditation per day may slow down the aging process. • Contemplating a loving God rather than a punitive God reduces anxiety and depression and increases feelings of security, compassion, and love. • Fundamentalism, in and of itself, can be personally beneficial, but the prejudice generated by extreme beliefs can permanently damage your brain. • Intense prayer and meditation permanently change numerous structures and functions in the brain, altering your values and the way you perceive reality. Both a revelatory work of modern science and a practical guide for readers to enhance their physical and emotional health, How God Changes Your Brain is a first-of-a-kind book about faith that is as credible as it is inspiring.

The Biology of Belief

The Biology of Belief
Author: Bruce H. Lipton
Publisher: Hay House
ISBN: 140195247X
Pages: 312
Year: 2016-10-11
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"This new updated and expanded 10th anniversary edition of The Biology of Belief will forever change how you think about your own thinking. Stunning new scientific discoveries about the biochemical effects of the brain's functioning show that all the cells of your body are affected by your thoughts. Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., a renowned cell biologist, describes the precise molecular pathways through which this occurs. Using simple language, illustrations, humor, and everyday examples, he demonstrates how the new science of epigenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of the link between mind and matter, and the profound effects it has on our personal lives and the collective life of our species." -- Page [4] cover.

The Neuroscience of Religious Experience

The Neuroscience of Religious Experience
Author: Patrick McNamara
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139483560
Pages:
Year: 2009-11-06
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Technical advances in the life and medical sciences have revolutionised 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 behaviours. What is missing from this literature is a strong voice speaking to these behavioural and social scientists - as well as to the intellectually curious in the religious studies community - from the perspective of a brain scientist.

Born to Believe

Born to Believe
Author: Andrew Newberg, Mark Robert Waldman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416571426
Pages: 352
Year: 2007-10-02
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Born to Believe was previously published in hardcover as Why We Believe What We Believe. Prayer...meditation...speaking in tongues. What do these spiritual activities share and how do they differ? Why do some people believe in God, while others embrace atheism? From the ordinary to the extraordinary, beliefs give meaning to the mysteries of life. They motivate us, provide us with our individual uniqueness, and ultimately change the structure and function of our brains. In Born to Believe, Andrew Newberg, MD, and Mark Waldman reveal -- for the very first time -- how our complex views, memories, superstitions, morals, and beliefs are created by the neural activities of the brain. Supported by groundbreaking original research, they explain how our brains construct our deepest convictions and fondest assumptions about reality and the world around us. Using science, psychology, and religion, the authors offer recommendations for exercising your brain in order to develop a more life-affirming, flexible range of attitudes. Knowing how the brain builds meaning, value, spirituality, and truth into your life will change forever the way you look at yourself and the world.

Neurotheology

Neurotheology
Author: Andrew Newberg
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231546777
Pages:
Year: 2018-03-27
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Religion is often cast in opposition to science. Yet both are deeply rooted in the inner workings of the human brain. With the advent of the modern cognitive neurosciences, the scientific study of religious and spiritual phenomena has become far more sophisticated and wide-ranging. What might brain scans of people in prayer, in meditation, or under the influence of psychoactive substances, for instance, show us about religious and spiritual beliefs? Are religious and spiritual phenomena reducible to brain processes? Or might there be aspects of religion and spirituality that, at least for now, appear to transcend scientific claims? In this book, Andrew Newberg explores the latest findings of neurotheology, the multidisciplinary field linking neuroscience with religious and spiritual phenomena. He investigates some of the most controversial—and potentially transformative—implications of a neurotheological approach for the truth claims of religion and our understanding of minds and brains. Newberg leads readers on a tour through key intersections of neuroscience and theology, including the potential evolutionary basis of religion; the psychology of religion, including mental-health and brain pathology; the neuroscience of myths, rituals, and mystical experiences; how studies of altered states of consciousness shed new light on the mind-brain relationship; what neurotheology can tell us about free will; and the limitations of what science can say about our religious and spiritual experience of reality. When brain science and religious experience are considered together in an integrated approach, Newberg shows, we might come closer to a fuller understanding of the deepest questions.

Why God Won't Go Away

Why God Won't Go Away
Author: Alister McGrath
Publisher: SPCK
ISBN: 0281065764
Pages: 128
Year: 2011-02-15
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The recent rise of the New Atheism has aroused great general interest, thrown up questions of fundamental importance, and started a fascinating conversation. Why God Won't Go Away invites us to join in. The volume opens with a survey of the main ideas of the New Atheism, as expressed in the works of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. We then examine the core views of the movement closely, making due reference to its 'virtual community' of websites and blogs. Subjects explored include: whether religion is delusional and evil, the belief that human beings are fundamentally good, whether we should have faith only in what can be proved through reason and science, the idea that the best hope for humanity is a 'New Enlightenment' The result is a lively and highly thought-provoking volume that poses a number of interesting questions. Why is religion experiencing a resurgence in the twenty-first century, when we are meant to have grown out of such a primitive fixation? Has the New Atheism's fascination with rationality led to a fatal underestimation of the longing of the human heart to adore? And if, as Christopher Hitchens writes in exasperation, religion is 'ineradicable', doesn't this tiresome fact suggest that dismissing belief in God as irrational and unscientific might just be a waste of time?

The "God" Part of the Brain

The "God" Part of the Brain
Author: Matthew Alper
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
ISBN: 1402236379
Pages: 288
Year: 2008-09-01
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Is Man the product of a God...or is "God" the product of human evolution? From the dawn of our species, every human culture-no matter how isolated-has believed in some form of a spiritual realm. According to author Matthew Alper, this is no mere coincidence but rather due to the fact that humans, as a species, are genetically predisposed to believe in the universal concepts of a god, a soul and an afterlife. This instinct to believe is the result of an evolutionary adaptation-a coping mechanism-that emerged in our species to help us survive our unique and otherwise debilitating awareness of death. Spiritual seekers and atheists alike will be compelled and transformed by Matthew Alper's classic study of science and religion. The 'God' Part of the Brain has gained critical acclaim from some of the world's leading scientists, secular humanists, and theologians, and is as a must read for anyone who has pondered the question of God's existence, as well as the meaning of our own. Praise for The "God" Part of the Brain "This cult classic in many ways parallels Rene Descartes' search for reliable and certain knowledge...Drawing on such disciplines as philosophy, psychology, and biology, Alper argues that belief in a spiritual realm is an evolutionary coping method that developed to help humankind deal with the fear of death...Highly recommended."— Library Journal "I very much enjoyed the account of your spiritual journey and believe it would make excellent reading for every college student - the resultant residence-hall debates would be the best part of their education. It often occurs to me that if, against all odds, there is a judgmental God and heaven, it will come to pass that when the pearly gates open, those who had the valor to think for themselves will be escorted to the head of the line, garlanded, and given their own personal audience." — Edward O. Wilson, two-time Pulitzer Prize-Winner "This is an essential book for those in search of a scientific understanding of man's spiritual nature. Matthew Alper navigates the reader through a labyrinth of intriguing questions and then offers undoubtedly clear answers that lead to a better understanding of our objective reality." — Elena Rusyn, MD, PhD; Gray Laboratory; Harvard Medical School "What a wonderful book you have written. It was not only brilliant and provocative but also revolutionary in its approach to spirituality as an inherited trait."— Arnold Sadwin, MD, former chief of Neuropsychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania "A lively manifesto...For the discipline's specific application to the matter at hand, I've seen nothing that matches the fury of The 'God' Part of the Brain, which perhaps explains why it's earned something of a cult following." — Salon.com "All 6 billion plus inhabitants of Earth should be in possession of this book. Alper's tome should be placed in the sacred writings' section of libraries, bookstores, and dwellings throughout the world. Matthew Alper is the new Galileo...Immensely important...Defines in a clear and concise manner what each of us already knew but were afraid to admit and exclaim."— John Scoggins, PhD "Vibrant ... vivacious. An entertaining and provocative introduction to speculations concerning the neural basis of spirituality."— Free Inquiry Magazine

The Mystical Mind

The Mystical Mind
Author: Eugene G. D'Aquili, Andrew B. Newberg
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Publishing
ISBN: 0800631633
Pages: 228
Year: 1999
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"How does the mind experience the sacred? What biological mechanisms are involved in mystical states and trances? Is there a neurological basis for patterns in comparative religions? Does religion have an evolutionary function?"--BOOK JACKET. "This pioneering work by two leading medical researchers explores the neurophysiology of religious experience. Mapping the basic functions of the brain, the authors focus on structures most relevant to human experience, emotion, and cognition. On this basis they plot just how the brain is involved in mystical experiences. Successive chapters employ this understanding to explore mythmaking, ritual and liturgy, meditation, near-death experiences, and theology itself. Original, daring, and widely acclaimed, the authors' research bears exciting implications for philosophy, science, and the future of religion itself."--BOOK JACKET.

Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?

Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?
Author: Nancey Murphy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 113944896X
Pages:
Year: 2006-01-12
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Are humans composed of a body and a nonmaterial mind or soul, or are we purely physical beings? Opinion is sharply divided over this issue. In this clear and concise book, Nancey Murphy argues for a physicalist account, but one that does not diminish traditional views of humans as rational, moral, and capable of relating to God. This position is motivated not only by developments in science and philosophy, but also by biblical studies and Christian theology. The reader is invited to appreciate the ways in which organisms are more than the sum of their parts. That higher human capacities such as morality, free will, and religious awareness emerge from our neurobiological complexity and develop through our relation to others, to our cultural inheritance, and, most importantly, to God. Murphy addresses the questions of human uniqueness, religious experience, and personal identity before and after bodily resurrection.

Why Would Anyone Believe in God?

Why Would Anyone Believe in God?
Author: Justin L. Barrett
Publisher: Altamira Press
ISBN:
Pages: 141
Year: 2004
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Because of the design of our minds. That is Justin Barrett's simple answer to the question of his title. With rich evidence from cognitive science but without technical language, psychologist Barrett shows that belief in God is an almost inevitable consequence of the kind of minds we have. Most of what we believe comes from mental tools working below our conscious awareness. And what we believe consciously is in large part driven by these unconscious beliefs. Barrett demonstrates that beliefs in gods match up well with these automatic assumptions; beliefs in an all-knowing, all-powerful God match up even better. Barrett goes on to explain why beliefs like religious beliefs are so widespread and why it is very difficult for our minds to think without them. Anyone who wants a concise, clear, and scientific explanation of why anyone would believe in God should pick up Barrett's book.

How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain

How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain
Author: Andrew Newberg, MD, Mark Robert Waldman
Publisher: Hay House, Inc
ISBN: 1781807132
Pages: 288
Year: 2016-03-15
View: 307
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In this original and groundbreaking book, Dr Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldmanturn their attention to the pinnacle of the human experience: enlightenment. Through his brain-scan studies on Brazilian psychic mediums, Sufi mystics, Buddhist meditators, Franciscan nuns, Pentecostals, and participants in secular spirituality rituals, Newberg has found the specific neurological mechanisms responsible for an enlightenment experience - and how we can activate those circuits in our own brains. In his survey of more than one thousand people who have experienced enlightenment, Newberg has also discovered that in the aftermath they have had profound, positive life changes. Enlightenment offers us the possibility to become permanently less stress-prone, to break bad habits, to improve our collaboration and creativity skills, and to lead happier, more satisfying lives. Relaying the story of his own transformational experience as well as including the stories of others who try to describe an event that is truly indescribable, Newberg brings us a new paradigm for deep and lasting change.

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