December 25

Going Mental

Tuesday’s Big Idea

Today's Big Idea: Neurotheology

According to Pastor Tim Keller, following his patron saint C.S. Lewis, being a practicing member of a religion is distinct from being a true believer. We can understand this from a theological point of view, but can belief be scientifically observed, or even measured?

A growing number of neuroscientists have taken up with question, with the ambitious goal of measuring what happens to the human brain during spiritual experiences. 

To measure the effects of trance states and ritual on the brain, scientists use a technique called single photon emission computed tomography, in which subjects are injected with a chemical that emits gamma rays. A computer collects the information transmitted by the rays and constructs from it an image of the brain depicting blood flow to the various regions. The more blood flow to a particular region, the more brain activity.

  1. 1 A Christmas Message for the True ...
  2. 2 Peter Gomes On Christianity Today
  3. 3 Why Spinoza is Back
  4. 4 The Neurological Origins of Relig...
   
  1. A Christmas Message for the True Believers

    A Christmas Message for the True Believers

    Being a practicing member of a religion is distinct from being a true believer. We can understand this from a theological point of view, but can belief be scientifically observed, or even measured? 

    Read More…
  2. Peter Gomes On Christianity Today

    Peter Gomes On Christianity Today

    Christianity is not a religion that has been tried and failed.

    Read More…
  3. Why Spinoza is Back

    Why Spinoza is Back

    What the man Bertrand Russell called “the most lovable of philosophers” still has to teach us.

    Read More…
  4. The Neurological Origins of Religious Belief

    The Neurological Origins of Religious Belief

    It has been known for some time that religious belief and behavior affect the brain. But can we pinpoint specific chemicals, genes and clusters of neurons that give rise to religiosity, or to atheism?

    Read More…