Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jackie L. Orcholl
Neurotheology is the scientific study of religious or spiritual experiences and feelings. By using psychology and neuroscience, scientists explore the biological basis of religious experiences and are beginning to uncover the capabilities of the human mind. Neurologists have found evidence in the mechanics of the human brain that facilitates the capacity for spiritual, religious, or mystical experience and leads to an intermingling of science and religion. Neurotheology claims that the hardwiring of the human brain not only makes religion possible, but also makes it capable of being passed on through the genes as a physically distinct mechanism of cultural transmission, allowing religion to be selected as an adaptive behavior. Religion has contributed to human evolution and continues to be a universal behavior even in apparently scientific times. In fact, statistics show that 70% of the world's population affiliate themselves with some religious or spiritual practice, whether they engage regularly or ...