Special Issue "Neuroscience and Religion"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. W.R. Klemm
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Neuroscience, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4458, USA
Interests: Learning; memory; consciousness; brain electrical activity; neuroscience; religion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Special Edition announcement

This announcement is to invite scholars to submit a paper to a Special Issue on “Neuroscience and Religion” for the international, online, open-source journal, Religions.

Neuroscience is an umbrella discipline that has spawned important new areas of scholarship, such as neuroeducation, neuropsychology, neurophilosophy—and now, neurotheology. Scholars in this new field recognize that neuroscience and theology are inextricably entangled. Yet, historically, these two worldviews have not explored the ways in which each worldview can inform and enrich the other. Neuroscience can show religion new ways to consider creeds, doctrines, and spiritual counseling in the light of objective evidence. Religion can show neuroscience areas of human need and concern that experimental research could and should be exploring. The purpose of this Special Issue is to provide a platform for scholars to point the way to develop the field of neurotheology.

Given the digital nature of the journal, there is no restriction on the length of manuscripts, if the text is concise and comprehensive. Deadline for the manuscript is September 1, 2019. If you are interested, please submit a tentative title and a one-paragraph synopsis of what you plan to write to the Guest Editor. The Guest Editor's role is to write a short introduction for the Special Issue, nominate/invite prospective authors, and coordinate the manuscript processing.

W. R. Klemm, Guest Editor

Senior Professor of Neuroscience, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4458

Email: [email protected]

Author: Triune Brain, Triune Mind, Triune World View, Brighton Publishing, in press

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • neuroscience
  • religion
  • neurotheology
  • spirituality

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Different Measures of Religiousness and Spirituality: Implications for Neurotheological Research
Religions 2019, 10(11), 637; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10110637 - 19 Nov 2019
Abstract
The neuroscientific study of religious and spiritual phenomena requires the development of methodologies that can target both the biological as well as the subjective dimensions of such phenomena. The purpose of the current study was to compare various subjective questionnaires evaluating neuropsychological dimensions [...] Read more.
The neuroscientific study of religious and spiritual phenomena requires the development of methodologies that can target both the biological as well as the subjective dimensions of such phenomena. The purpose of the current study was to compare various subjective questionnaires evaluating neuropsychological dimensions of religiosity. Many scales and questionnaires have been developed over the years, but they have rarely been compared to each other. As part of an online survey of peoples’ spiritual experiences, we had individuals complete several questionnaires including the Quest Scale, the Religiousness Measure, the INSPIRIT, the Death Anxiety Measure, and the Intrinsic Motivation Scale. Some of these scales also have subcomponents which can be evaluated separately. We compared these scales to each other, and also to a variety of demographic variables such as age, gender, religion, and socioeconomic status. Importantly, these scales have neurological correlates that can be the targets of future studies in the field of neurotheology. The evaluation of such qualitative data has important implications for methodological challenges in future neurotheological research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroscience and Religion)
Open AccessArticle
Can Religiosity Be Explained by ‘Brain Wiring’? An Analysis of US Adults’ Opinions
Religions 2019, 10(10), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100586 - 19 Oct 2019
Abstract
Studies examining how religion shapes individuals’ attitudes about science have focused heavily on a narrow range of topics, such as evolution. This study expands this literature by looking at how religion influences individuals’ attitudes towards the claim that neuroscience, or “brain wiring,” can [...] Read more.
Studies examining how religion shapes individuals’ attitudes about science have focused heavily on a narrow range of topics, such as evolution. This study expands this literature by looking at how religion influences individuals’ attitudes towards the claim that neuroscience, or “brain wiring,” can explain differences in religiosity. Our analysis of nationally representative survey data shows, perhaps unsurprisingly, that religiosity is negatively associated with thinking that brain wiring can explain religion. Net of religiosity, though, individuals reporting religious experiences are actually more likely to agree that brain wiring can explain religiosity, as are individuals belonging to diverse religious traditions when compared to the unaffiliated. We also find that belief in the general explanatory power of science is a significant predictor of thinking that religiosity can be explained by brain wiring, while women and the more highly educated are less likely to think this is true. Taken together, these findings have implications for our understanding of the relationship between religion and science, and the extent to which neuroscientific explanations of religiosity are embraced by the general US public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroscience and Religion)

Review

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Open AccessReview
Whither Neurotheology?
Religions 2019, 10(11), 634; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10110634 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
Human culture has modernized at a much faster pace than has theology and religion. We are at the point where many moderns apparently think that religion is losing relevance. Satisfying the need for relevance and ecumenical harmony requires more reasoned and mature approaches [...] Read more.
Human culture has modernized at a much faster pace than has theology and religion. We are at the point where many moderns apparently think that religion is losing relevance. Satisfying the need for relevance and ecumenical harmony requires more reasoned and mature approaches to religion. Science is one of those secular activities that seems to undermine religious faith for many people. Unlike the sciences that give us the Big Bang, relativity, quantum mechanics, and theories of evolution, neuroscience is the one science that applies in everyday life toward developing a faith that promotes nurturing of self and others. Modern neuroscience and the mental health understanding that it creates can contribute to satisfying this need. Neuroscience and religion have numerous shared areas of concern, and each worldview can and should inform and enrich the other. Neuroscience may help us understand why we believe certain religious ideas and not others. It helps to explain our behavior and might even help us live more righteous and fulfilled lives. Religion can show neuroscientists areas of religious debate that scientific research might help resolve. New educational initiatives at all levels (secondary, seminary, and secular college) can provide a way to integrate neuroscience and religion and lead to religious perspectives that are more reasoned, mature, satisfying, and beneficial at both individual and social levels. Neurotheology is an emerging academic discipline that seems to focus on integrating neuroscience and theology. About only 10 years old, neurotheology has not yet consolidated its definition, ideology, purpose, or scholarly or applied strategies. Acceptance by the scholarly community is problematic. This manuscript raises the question of whether neurotheology will survive as a viable discipline and, if so, what form that could take. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroscience and Religion)
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