Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Neurology and Psychology of Religion

  • Marsha Aileen HewittEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9003

Recent developments within neuroscience have had a significant influence on a number of disciplines, including psychological and psychoanalytic approaches to religion, providing new evidentiary frameworks of explanation. While there is as yet no final answer to this question, many neurobiologists concur that while human experience is a product of mind and thus generated by brain activity, it would be misleading to “reduce” mind as strictly coterminous with brain function. A growing number of neurobiologists acknowledge the importance of “affect” – emotions and feelings – along with cognitively based symbolic meaning-making activity as integral to understanding the complexity of human experience (Damasio 1994, 2003; Panksepp 1998; Solms and Turnbull 2002; d’Aquili and Newberg 1993, 1998). While the psychology of religion must take seriously neurobiological accounts of mental states that are experienced and described as “mystical,” “unitive,” “ecstatic,” or “transcendent,” it is also...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trinity CollegeUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada