1st Edition

Religion, Neuroscience and the Self A New Personalism

By Patrick McNamara Copyright 2020
    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    The purpose of this book is to use neuroscience discoveries concerning religious experiences, the Self and personhood to deepen, enhance and interrogate the theological and philosophical set of ideas known as Personalism. McNamara proposes a new eschatological form of personalism that is consistent with current neuroscience models of relevant brain functions concerning the self and personhood and that can meet the catastrophic challenges of the 21st century.

    Eschatological Personalism, rooted in the philosophical tradition of "Boston Personalism", takes as its starting point the personalist claim that the significance of a self and personality is not fully revealed until it has reached its endpoint, but theologically that end point can only occur within the eschatological realm. That realm is explored in the book along with implications for personalist theory and ethics. Topics covered include the agent intellect, dreams and the imagination, future-orientation and eschatology, phenomenology of Time, social ethics, Love, the challenge of AI, privacy and solitude and the individual ethic of autarchy.

    This book is an innovative combination of the neuroscientific and theological insights provided by a Personalist viewpoint. As such, it will be of great interest to scholars of Cognitive Science, Theology, Religious Studies and the philosophy of the mind.

    Forward and Acknowledgements

    1 The need for an eschatological personalism

    2 Previous personalisms

    3 Possible worlds and the agent intellect

    4 The Eschatological Dream Time

    5 Subjectivity and Privacy

    6 Eschatological ethics and the Kingdom of God

    7 Divided self, depersonalization and evil

    8 Conclusions


    Patrick McNamara is Professor in the Department of Psychology at Northcentral University and Associate Professor of Neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine, USA. He has published multiple articles and books on the interaction of religion, the brain, personhood and the self. He was also a co-founder of the Institute for the Bio-cultural study of Religion as well as the journal Religion, Brain and Behavior.