1st Edition

The Supernatural After the Neuro-Turn

    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    188 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book takes what is often referred to as the "supernatural" to be normal natural phenomena that are closely linked to the neurobiology of the human species. Reflecting the neurocultural and biocultural perspective, the chapters cover phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, ghosts, and experiences of spirit entities. The contributors consider the "supernatural" as emerging from innate neurobiological structures and functions, and reflecting known neurobiological processes that explain their universality and persistence.


    1. The supernatural: A range of neurocultural phenomena
    Pieter F. Craffert

    2. Supernatural and the invisible: A biogenetic structural account
    Charles D. Laughlin

    3 The evolutionary origins of the supernatural in ritual behaviours
    Michael J. Winkelman

    4. Neurocognitive processes and supernatural beliefs
    Andrew B. Newberg and  David B. Yaden

    5. The supernatural as innate cognitive operators
    Michael J. Winkelman

    6. Embodied experiences and the neurobiological, cognitive and psychological production of ghosts
    Pieter F. Craffert

    7. Shamanic alterations of consciousness as sources of supernatural experiences                                                Michael J. Winkelman

    8 Extraordinary knowing within the framework of natural science: Toward a theory of "scientific mysticism"
    Yakov Shapiro and J. Rowan Scott


    Pieter F. Craffert is a professor in the Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies at the University of South Africa.

    John R. Baker is Professor of Anthropology at Moorpark College, USA. He is a past president of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness. He co-edits the journal Time and Mind, and is an associate editor for the journal Anthropology of Consciousness.

    Michael J. Winkelman is an associate professor (retired) from the School of Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, USA. He is a past president of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, and founding president of the Anthropology of Religion section of the American Anthropological Association.