Principles of Neurotheology (Paperback) book cover

Principles of Neurotheology

By Andrew B. Newberg

© 2010 – Routledge

288 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780754669944
pub: 2010-09-28
Hardback: 9781409408109
pub: 2010-09-28

About the Book

"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.


In this new book, Andrew B. Newberg is advocating a whole new relationship between religion and science, he proposes not that the two stay neutral with regard to each other, but that they help each other in their quest. Augustine once defined theology as fides quaerens intellectum, faith seeking to understand. Newberg wants to establish a partnership between that quest and mens quaerens intellectum, the brain seeking to understand. Neurotheology would, of all things, introduce and require a sense of humility and awareness of need of help in both science and religion. The tone of this whole book is an excellent start in that direction. Ronald Murphy, S.J., Georgetown University, USA Drawing on decades of empirical research and engaging centuries-old questions from philosophy and theology, Newberg charts for us both the "state of the art" and a vision for the future of the emerging interdisciplinary field of neurotheology. Carefully acknowledging the complexity of the tasks at hand, Principles of Neurotheology courageously sketches the opportunity and promise of new answers to age-old questions as complex as the soul, God, and free will-a critical resource for researchers and readers engaged in work at the intersection of religion, theology, and science. David A. Hogue, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, USA This fascinating book contains everything a person might want to know about the link between theology and the neurosciences, a rapidly growing area of scientific investigation. Written by one of the first researchers to examine brain activity during spiritual experiences, this volume lays the basic foundations for this new field of neurotheology. Clearly written and easily accessible, Principles of Neurotheology is filled with information that both scientist and layperson need to know about the neurological basis for religious and spiritual experiences, and should be required reading for anyone interested in the faith-health connection. Harold G. Koenig,

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; The case for a principia neurotheologica; Definitions in neurotheology; The principle of interaction between neuroscience and theology; General principles of neurotheological investigations; Toward a neurotheological hermeneutic; Principles relating to the methods of neurotheological research; Physiological and phenomenological correlates of spiritual practices; Reflections on major topics of neuroscience; Reflections on major topics of theology; Epistemological issues in neurotheology; Epilogue: final conclusions; Index.

About the Author

Andrew B. Newberg, M.D. is Director of Research in Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital, Philadelphia, . He is co-author of the bestselling books, How God Changes Your Brain (2009) and Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief (2001) which both explore the relationship between neuroscience and spiritual experience. He has also co-authored Why We Believe What We Believe (2008) and The Mystical Mind: Probing the Biology of Belief (1999). The latter book received the 2000 award for Outstanding Books in Theology and the Natural Sciences presented by the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.

About the Series

Ashgate Science and Religion Series

Ashgate Science and Religion Series

Science and religion have often been thought to be at loggerheads but much contemporary work in this flourishing interdisciplinary field suggests this is far from the case. The Ashgate Science and Religion Series presents exciting new work to advance interdisciplinary study, research and debate across key themes in science and religion, exploring the philosophical relations between the physical and social sciences on the one hand and religious belief on the other. Contemporary issues in philosophy and theology are debated, as are prevailing cultural assumptions arising from the 'post-modernist' distaste for many forms of reasoning. The series enables leading international authors from a range of different disciplinary perspectives to apply the insights of the various sciences, theology and philosophy and look at the relations between the different disciplines and the rational connections that can be made between them. These accessible, stimulating new contributions to key topics across science and religion will appeal particularly to individual academics and researchers, graduates, postgraduates and upper-undergraduate students.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General