Neurotheology & Cognitive Liberty

20 February 2003
Finding Happiness: Cajole Your Brain to Lean to the Left
All too many years ago, while I was still a psychology graduate student, I ran an experiment to assess how well meditation might work as an antidote to stress. My professors were skeptical, my measures were weak, and my subjects were mainly college sophomores. Not surprisingly, my results were inconclusive. >> Read More

June 17, 2001
Tracing the Synapsis of Our Spirituality

In Philadelphia, a researcher discovers areas of the brain that are activated during meditation. At two other universities in San Diego and North Carolina, doctors study how epilepsy and certain hallucinogenic drugs can produce religious epiphanies. And in Canada, a neuroscientist fits people with magnetized helmets that produce "spiritual" experiences for the secular. Learn more about neurotheology in this Washington Post article. 

June 5, 2001
Professor Argues That Shamanism is the Original Neurotheology
"Neurotheology" is a new concept given widespread exposure in the recent Newsweek article (5/7/2001) God and the Brain How We’re Wired for Spirituality. "While the term neurotheology is new, the basic ideas have been around for thousands of years" says Dr. Michael Winkelman, Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University. "Many cultures have developed technologies for altering consciousness and inducing spiritual experiences." Winkelman describes shamanism- an ancient healing practice- within the context of neurotheology. >> Read More.

May 7, 2001
This is Your Brain on God
The new field of neurotheology is examining what specifically happens within the brain when a person has a “religious” or “spiritual” experience. Early research is showing that not only does a person’s brain activity change in particular areas while that person is experiencing a religious epiphany, but such epiphanies can be occasioned, for some people, by stimulating various parts of the brain by various means. These findings underscore the importance of permitting individuals unfettered access to the full-spectrum of consciousness, and the freedom to achieve various states of mind by various means. Newsweek’s May 7, 2001 issue features a good summary of what’s happening in the field of neurotheology. Read the Newsweek article online.