Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief

Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief

Andrew B. Newberg Eugene G. D'Aquili Vince Rause / Oct 21, 2019

Why God Won t Go Away Brain Science and the Biology of Belief Why have we humans always longed to connect with something larger than ourselves Even today in our technologically advanced age than seventy percent of Americans claim to believe in God Why in short

  • Title: Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief
  • Author: Andrew B. Newberg Eugene G. D'Aquili Vince Rause
  • ISBN: 9780345440341
  • Page: 143
  • Format: Paperback
  • Why have we humans always longed to connect with something larger than ourselves Even today in our technologically advanced age, than seventy percent of Americans claim to believe in God Why, in short, won t God go away In this groundbreaking new book, researchers Andrew Newberg and Eugene d Aquili offer an explanation that is at once profoundly simple and scientifWhy have we humans always longed to connect with something larger than ourselves Even today in our technologically advanced age, than seventy percent of Americans claim to believe in God Why, in short, won t God go away In this groundbreaking new book, researchers Andrew Newberg and Eugene d Aquili offer an explanation that is at once profoundly simple and scientifically precise The religious impulse is rooted in the biology of the brain.In Why God Won t Go Away, Newberg and d Aquili document their pioneering explorations in the field of neurotheology, an emerging discipline dedicated to understanding the complex relationship between spirituality and the brain Blending cutting edge science with illuminating insights into the nature of consciousness and spirituality, they bridge faith and reason, mysticism and empirical data The neurological basis of how the brain identifies the real is nothing short of miraculous This fascinating, eye opening book dares to explore both the miracle and the biology of our enduring relationship with God.

    Why Won t God Heal Amputees Are you interested in learning how God works Here are several starting points Why won t God heal amputees Start here To understand why this question is so important, click here In a hurry Try the Executive Summary If you would like to start at the beginning with a gentle introduction, click here. Reasons Why God Might Not Rescue You Crosswalk Why Won t God Fix My Marriage ApplyGodsWord Why won t God fix my marriage is the question one woman recently wrote in to ask She writes Dear Mark, I have been listening to your sermons on the AGW YouTube Channel. Reasons Why God Won t Answer Your Prayers by Pastor Have You Ever Wondered Why God Won t Give You What You That s the first reason it shouldn t mean that, because God is God and ought to be God, and therefore it s right for God to be God and right for you not to be God Woe is you if every prayer gets answered. Why God Won t Go Away by by Andrew Newberg, M.D Eugene d Why God Won t Go Away shows how one key area in our brain biologically wires us to be connected to each other, the universe, and God Truly brilliant Father G. Reasons Why God Isn t Answering Your Prayers Why God Won t Go Away Brain Science and the Biology of Why have we humans always longed to connect with something larger than ourselves Even today in our technologically advanced age, than seventy percent of Americans claim to believe in God Why, in short, won t God go away In this groundbreaking new book, researchers Andrew Newberg and Eugene Why Won t God JUST TELL ME goodnewsarticles The Good News Home Why Won t God JUST TELL ME By David A DePra Oh that I knew where I might find him that I might come even to his seat I would Why doesn t God answer my prayers Bibleinfo

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    About "Andrew B. Newberg Eugene G. D'Aquili Vince Rause"

      • Andrew B. Newberg Eugene G. D'Aquili Vince Rause

        Dr Andrew Newberg is Director of Research at the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Medical College He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania He is Board certified in Internal Medicine and Nuclear Medicine He is considered a pioneer in the neuroscientific study of religious and spiritual experiences, a field frequently referred to as neurotheology His work attempts to better understand the nature of religious and spiritual practices and experiences This has been compiled into his latest book, Principles of Neurotheology, which reviews the important principles and foundations of neurotheology Believing that it is important to keep science rigorous and religion religious, he has engaged the topic like few others He has been fascinated by the implications of this research for the study of the mind, brain, consciousness, morality, theology, and philosophy He has also been particularly interested in the relationship between the brain, religion, and health His research has included brain scans of people in prayer, meditation, rituals, and various trance states He has also performed surveys of people s spiritual experiences and attitudes Finally, he has evaluated the relationship between religious and spiritual phenomena and health This includes a recent study on the effect of meditation on memory In his career, he has also actively pursued neuroimaging research projects on the study of aging and dementia, Parkinson s disease, depression, and other neurological and psychiatric disorders He has also researched the neurophysiological correlates of acupuncture, meditation, and alternative therapies, and how brain function is associated with mystical and religious experiences Dr Newberg helped develop stress management programs for the University of Pennsylvania Health Systems and received a Science and Religion Course Award from the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences for his program entitled The Biology of Spirituality in the Department of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania He is currently teaching a course in the Department of Religious Studies entitled, Science and the Sacred An Introduction to Neurotheology Dr Newberg has published over 150 research articles, essays and book chapters, and is the co author of the best selling books, Why God Won t Go Away Brain Science and the Biology of Belief Ballantine, 2001 and How God Changes Your Brain Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist Ballantine, 2009 He has also published, Principles of Neurotheology Ashgate, 2011 Why We Believe What We Believe Ballantine, 2006 , and The Mystical Mind Fortress Press, 1999 He has presented his research throughout the world in both scientific and public forums He appeared on Nightline, 20 20, Good Morning America, ABC s World News Tonight, National Public Radio, London Talk Radio and over fifteen nationally syndicated radio programs His work has been featured in Time, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and many other newspapers and magazines An overview of his work can be viewed at on this site.


    821 Comments

    1. This book is vast, but all I am adding is quotes because a friend had asked me for them, and it took a long time to type them out. "Dr. Andrew Newberg is a neuroscientist who studies the relationship between brain function and various mental states. He is a pioneer in the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences, a field known as “neurotheology.” His research includes taking brain scans of people in prayer, meditation, rituals, and trance states, in an attempt to better unde [...]


    2. This book was well researched and, for the most part, well argued. In many of my other readings on the subject, I'd come across references to the fMRI work that Newberg and D'Aquili had done with Tibetan monks and Franciscan nuns, so I expected this books to take a largely scientific approach to the topic of religious and spiritual behavior and was not disappointed. On the plus side Newberg and D'Aquili postulate plausible pathways by which the brain generates various spiritual experiences, and [...]



    3. The science in this book is well cited throughout, but I wish there was more data regarding "spiritual" or "transcendent" experiences."The goal of every living brain, no matter what its level of neurological sophistication, from the tiny knots of nerve cells that govern insect behavior on up to the intricate complexity of the human neocortex, has been to enhance the organism's chances of survival by reacting to raw sensory data and translating it to a negotiable rendition of a world." (15)Visual [...]


    4. I just finished this book for my Sociology of Religion course (and now I just have to write the 10 page review of it). Overall, I liked it. I found that Newberg was quite redundant though, saying the same think a couple times in a matter of pages. Using repetition in one's writing is a rhetorical device, but it can be overused, and I say that Newberg overused that device. Beyond that, I would say that it was overall quite interesting and better than many other scientific books that I have read. [...]


    5. Fascinating biology.Predictable evolutionary thought; neo-Freudian in an odd sort of way - religion boils down to ancient sexual impulses that developed into something beyond ourselves. (Of course, everything in biological evolution must harken to survival or reproduction.)At least the author was honest. I was "mocking" him in the margins through many parts of the book refering to him and his as "the priesthood". Later he admitted that his own scientific explanations were indeed a kind of "myth [...]


    6. I didn't finish this book. I don't think it was as intriguing as I expected. I am personally an atheist with interests in the sciences, but I am interested in how religion affects people including why they believe even after we have learned so much of the science behind evolution and the universe, etc. I expected to be drawn in much more strongly than I was.


    7. Pretty good book. Makes a nice case of reconciling God and science. Wish I had read this 10 years ago. Much of the early chapters had matter I already knew or was familiar with since I have neuroscience training, except their terminology for brain areas was nonconventional. The book really picks up from page 98 and on.


    8. Goes over the history of myth and ritual. The author investigated how meditation and prayer performed by Buddist monks and Catholic nuns led to low stress hormones in the brain.


    9. He pushes the arguments; he has the hypothesis in his mind as he likes it and then uses experiences of all kinds of people as if they substantiate a scientific fact.


    10. Newberg's research and thought make a good case for the existence of what he calls Absolute Unitary Being. When he delves into the history of religion, he enters the realm of speculation, but otherwise the neuroscience is carefully done. I began to think of other areas where things that cannot be measured and explained scientifically are accepted as nonetheless real. Music, for example, cannot be explained simply as quantifiable vibrations. And so neither can the mystical experience of union wit [...]


    11. Boy was this a book that required a lot of attention! it took me forever to read because I felt I had to digest all the information being thrown at me.It was a lot different from what I imagined but nonetheless captivating with this new concept I was completely unaware of, Neurotheology. Would I read more on the topic? probably not. Was it good to know about this? yeah, absolutely even if it was just to comprehend the advances of neuroscience.


    12. This book explores the relationship between the brain's functioning and religion and myth. The authors note that (page 8): "Gradually, we shaped a hypothesis that suggests that spiritual experience, at its very root, is intimately interwoven with human biology. That biology, in some way, compels the spiritual urge." In short (page 9), "We will examine the biological drive that compels us to make myths, and the neurological machinery that gives these myths shape and power." In the study of evolut [...]


    13. A single quote from this book probably explains all we need to know about why God won’t go away:So impressive are the health benefits of religion that after reviewing more than a thousand studies on the impact of religion upon health, Dr. Harold Koenig of Duke University Medical Center recently told The New Republic, that “Lack of religious involvement has an effect on mortality that is equivalent to forty years of smoking one pack of cigarettes per day.What more evidence do we need that evo [...]


    14. I really liked the brain science of this book, as well as the anthropology angle. There is a lot of speculation involved in their hypothesis, as there must be when anyone is trying to read what was going on in the mind of early man. But I believe it is a carefully balanced middle ground between the scientific question and the spiritual one. Anyone who is entirely in one camp or the other might not appreciate how this book marries the two.I am both of the scientific and spiritual mind myself, and [...]


    15. So, can spirituality be explained by organic mechanisms? Well, this book proves it can. The biology behind spirituality is explained in a very simple and pleasurable way. However, the title may arise doubt and, unfortunately, a lot of prejudice. And that's one of the dangers this book has to face. I suggest that no one should get carried away by that. After all, we all have the hability of trascendence in one way or another, how could it even be possible without a brain which supports such capac [...]


    16. Through a study of neurological activities in the human brain for those who are having religious experiences, the author tries to present a scientific base for a reality that unites all religion as well as the traditional scientific view of the world.However, the experiences in which the person feels unified with the rest of the world is presented as "real" in the sense the observed brain activities, given our understanding of its components' functions, matches the descriptions of those experien [...]


    17. This was a great book on the subject of neurotheology and I thought a great attempt at strengthening the playing field between science and religion. There was a great balance of neurology that made the reading very easy rather than cumbersome - you didn't need an MD to understand what the author was describing.My only fault with the book is that it seems to push the idea of 'mysticism' which probably doesn't sit will with monotheistic groups such as Christians and Muslims; however I think it did [...]


    18. This book was very thought provoking. I expected it to be more of a Dawkinian approach to squash religion with science, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it has a much more even-handed approach to the traditional dichotomy, making a real concerted effort to bridge the divide. The book basically centers around the attention and orientation centers of the brain, and the principle that certain events/behaviors can deafferent them (or shut them down), providing an extra-sensory experience. A [...]


    19. A good read that should not take someone terribly long. Goes over the understanding of how the brain works very well, the nature of consciousness mixed with spirituality, discusses mysticism in depth, utilizes empirical data and studies from accredited universities, etc. all in relation to how we perceive God in the brain. I kind of wanted more out of the conclusion than just the mystical interpretation, but nonetheless the book kept my interest. I think this book is more in defense for those be [...]


    20. This pas summer I participated in a research project conducted by Andrew Newberg, exploring the impact of spiritual practices on the brain. This interested me in his work and so I picked up this book. In his story of the processes of the brain, Dr. Newberg has isolated certain brain functions that accompany mystical or contemplative practices. While Newberg points out that he is only measuring the brain's functioning in a spiritual experience, and can not prove the existence of God, he makes a s [...]


    21. Pros: Newberg uses his subjects' (of experimentation) personal stories with just the right amount of description and intrigue without distracting from the science being reported in the book. As he reports on the results of experiments with humans engaged in meditation and prayer, he is always respectful of their beliefs while writing about them. His discoveries are interesting and will hopefully be a good start to a long and happy marriage between neuroscience and religion. (I can't wait to read [...]


    22. A very compelling argument for the neurological basis of humanity's historical assumption -- across all cultures and borders -- of an omnipresent deity. The only factor preventing me from giving the book four stars is that, by necessity, the reading is somewhat technical in nature, though the authors do their best to make the book accessible to laypersons with little scientific background. As such, you occasionally find yourself rereading passages that you just completed, since brain terminology [...]


    23. The authors posit that our brain is neurologically capable of attaining a state where boundaries between self and other are no longer recognizable. They call this Absolute Unitary Being and say that this state has been attained by mystics and called "God." They also say that this experience of unity is real because it is experienced by the brain as real, and therefore God is real. They don't really delve into quantum mechanics, but what they seem to be saying is that the brain is capable of aban [...]


    24. This book was written by a group of scientists in Canada trying to understand what conditions lead to spiritual experiences. They studied Bhuddist monks and Franciscan nuns with MRI machines, and learned that there are 4 states of over/understimulation that lead to profound spiritual experiences and feelings of unity.I loved this book, and thought it was so profound that I actually caused me to have a bit of a spiritual experience while reading it. To some degree.I list the other three books tha [...]


    25. I read this as a part of a class I took in college regarding the psychology of religion and, as a current agnostic and then-atheist this book changed the way I view religion as a whole and the way I regard/interact with devoutly or fanatically religious individuals. Anyone who has ever wondered "wtf are they thinking" when seeing someone speaking in tongues in a church service (which, I'm sure, is many of us) MUST read this book.As a sidenote- it's not a light-read and takes some concentration s [...]


    26. This book is by a couple of brain scientists who describe what is happening in someone's brain when they have a mystical experience. The question at the heart of the book: "Either spiritual experience is nothing more than a neurological construct created by and contained within the brain, or the state of absolute union that the mystics describe does in fact exist and the mind has developed the capability to perceive it." Fascinating, but a little dense -- I kept putting it down for months at a t [...]


    27. At times it is slightly repetitive in an academic way (clearly states the thesis repeatedly) but there is enough variety in topics (meditation, myth,personal gods) to keep it interesting. The background in brain physiology was so clearly explained it made me feel smart while I was reading it (but don't quiz me on it now, please). Overall the authors make a sound, thoughtful argument for the biological capacity for spiritual experiences that is thought provoking and inspiring.


    28. Este libro contiene uno de los primeros acercamientos bien fundamentados a la neuroteología. Presenta de manera muy clara los mecanismos neurológicos que se activan durante los estados de misticismo. Con base en esto plantea una reconciliación de la ciencia con la religión, así como la gran relación que existe en el fondo entre las diversas religiones.Es la segunda vez que lo leo y me sigue pareciendo excelente.


    29. I did some research in college into the cognitive neuroscience of Buddhist meditation, and so was drawn to this book instantly - and the research behind this book on that topic alone is utterly fascinating (and I hope accurate). But it also goes into many other areas like mysticism, ritual and myth. Would be great for people into anthropology (many references to cross-cultural symbols and religions) and Carl Jung's psychological theories about the collective unconscious.


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