The neuroscientific study of religious and spiritual phenomena: Or why God doesn't use biostatistics

Andrew B. Newberg, Bruce Y. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

With the rapidly expanding field of neuroscience research exploring religious and spiritual phenomena, there have been many perspectives as to the validity, importance, relevance, and need for such research. In this essay we review the studies that have contributed to our current understanding of the neuropsychology of religious phenomena. We focus on methodological issues to determine which areas have been weaknesses and strengths in the current studies. This area of research also poses important theological and epistemological questions that require careful consideration if both the religious and scientific elements are to be appropriately respected. The best way to evaluate this field is to determine the methodological issues that currently affect the field and explore how best to address such issues so that future investigations can be as robust as possible and can become more mainstream in both the religious and the scientific arenas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-490
Number of pages22
JournalZygon
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2005

Keywords

  • Health
  • Methodology
  • Religion
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Religious studies

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