Bijdragen: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie en Theologie vol:69 issue:1 pages:70-96
Our Father, Who Art in Our Brain…? Theological-Philosophical Reflections on the Project of Neurotheology
Neurotheology is a rather young scientific discipline that investigates the common biological basis of religion in our brain. Because neurotheologians do not fear to draw theological conclusions from their scientific research results, the phenomenon of neurotheology can be an interesting focus of the widespread dialogue between science and religion. The first part of this article is dedicated to a detailed presentation of the project of neurotheology. I discuss the research results of Eugene d’Aquili and Andrew Newberg, pioneers of the neurotheological discipline, who discovered that, during a ‘religious experience’, a certain part of the brain receives less blood so that the distinction between the self and its environment drops. The result is that the test subject feels united with the cosmos. Neurotheologians thus assert that all religions arise from this capacity of the brain to transcend the ‘I’.