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Principles of Neurotheology (Ashgate Science and Religion Series) Paperback – September 30, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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, Duke University, USA As neuroscientists present more and more evidence for the claim that religious experiences and beliefs are dramatically influenced by changes in brain activity, people interested in religion (and that should be all of us) clamor for an explanation of the implications of these neuroscientific findings for religion and brain. In Principles of Neurotheology Andrew B. Newberg gives us a set of tools and principles that can and should guide us when we consider implications of the latest neuroscience for religion and brain. This book is consistently thought-provoking, fertile, innovative, courageous, and brilliant. It is a work of maturity, of someone who has thought deeply about these issues and their life and death consequences for real people. Newberg's 'Principles' will stand as the founding document for the new discipline of neurotheology - a science that has come of age and is poised to revolutionize both neuroscience and theology. Patrick McNamara, Boston University School of Medicine, USA '... I do recommend [this book] to anyone with an interest in the relationship between science and religion.' Church Times '... a refreshing voice...' Skeptico.com 'This book's thoroughly multidisciplinary nature makes it ideal for the liberal study of recent and potential findings in cognitive neuroscience... readers are left with a rich vocabulary and viable methodology through which to conduct an interdisciplinary discussion regarding some of life's most intriguing questions... Recommended.' Choice 'This is a fascinating and philosophically rigorous book, which raises many exciting ideas about what goes on in the human brain during religious and theological practices.' Theology 'Principles has much to recommend it. It provides the reader with a broad overview of cutting-edge brain research related to religious experience, and its principles - if the text is widely disseminated - are likely to provoke a good deal of discussion and debate.' Themelios 'Principles of Neurotheology is an important book, one that initiates a discussion of the theoretical and practical principles that should guide the development of this new field while also providing an overview of the current state of the research and sage insights from one who has been for a number of years deeply involved in neurotheological research.' Journal of the American Academy of Religion 'Searching for the ultimate is what makes us fundamentally human. Newberg, of course, has offered important principles to think about... ' American Theological Inquiry

About the Author

Andrew B. Newberg, Director of Research, Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine. Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine and Radiology, Thomas Jefferson University, USA.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ashgate Science and Religion Series
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New edition edition (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754669947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754669944
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This valuable book is a primer, an extended essay, on what neurotheology should be and what principles might guide it. It is also the culmination of all the research and scholarship performed by Dr. Newberg in this field to date.
Ten years ago, when Dr. Newberg together with his mentor Dr. Eugene D'Aquili and Vincent Rause published "Why God Won't Go Away" (NY, Ballantine Books), a new era began for a more comprehensive and modern study of Spirituality, a subject that had been until then for all practical purposes, the monopoly of theologians.
On of the greatest qualities of this book is that it welcomes everybody: Religious and non-religious people, believers, non believers, agnostics and atheists! It is an invitation to work towards Oneness, whether it refers to the oneness that can be found in this Universe or in some other transcendent one or in none at all...
it is a broad ecumenical effort by Dr. Newberg inviting everyone to work towards a general peace that would come from forgiveness, compassion and love.

The too simplified Table of Contents of the book does not makes justice to all the riches that it contains. In order to organize my own study of this pioneering book, I expanded for my own use the original Table of Contents as per the texts, which I present here, to give a more comprehensive idea to interested readers, students and scholars of all that they can expect to find in it.
The book could benefit from some editing, so that the extraordinary cumulus of ideas it presents would be better organized. But that will certainly come in the foreseeable future.

I can only highly recommend this book to all people of good will who are struggling to find a true meaning in
their lives and deeds.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was eye opening, this is the first time I heard someone approach mysticism and religious experience from a scientific eager to learn what could be learned without some a priori agenda. This is an outline of a new area of research, with set principles outlining how research and study should be conducted. This could be one of the most exciting topics of the 21st century!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Dr. Newberg presents a well-researched and carefully considered framework for considering questions of the interrelationships between the brain and religion, or neurology and theology. I wouldn't say it's the book is without a priori assumptions. I would say it's without a priori theological assumptions. That absolutely all human experience involves the brain, however, seems to be an assumption for entering the conversation. A single highly functioning anencephalic individual (and there are at least two) would seem to require reconsidering many questions, or resolving not to be inconvenienced by fact. Still, a wonderful introduction to a new field.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a retired neuro surgeon who practiced for 50 years and operated on the Limbic system in the 70's I think this book set s the stage for the new area that brings neuro Sci together with religion and philophy medicine an psychology to a practical discipline.
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Somewhat repetitive. The ideas are good and well organized, but seems to make little progress on the major challenges in the field. Or at least that is what this dabbler in neurology and professional in theology and psychotherapy thinks.
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