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God is great—for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Based on new evidence culled from brain-scan studies, a wide-reaching survey of people’s religious and spiritual experiences, and the authors’ analyses of adult drawings of God, neuroscientist Andrew Newberg and therapist Mark Robert Waldman offer the following breakthrough discoveries: • Not only do prayer and spiritual practice reduce stress, but just twelve minutes of meditation per day may slow down the aging process. • Contemplating a loving God rather than a punitive God reduces anxiety and depression and increases feelings of security, compassion, and love. • Fundamentalism, in and of itself, can be personally beneficial, but the prejudice generated by extreme beliefs can permanently damage your brain. • Intense prayer and meditation permanently change numerous structures and functions in the brain, altering your values and the way you perceive reality. Both a revelatory work of modern science and a practical guide for readers to enhance their physical and emotional health, How God Changes Your Brain is a first-of-a-kind book about faith that is as credible as it is inspiring.
Reveals the controversial discovery that thinking about God -- however we define the term -- can improve cognitive functioning and physical health, interrupt the devastating effects of depression, Alzheimer's disease, and a host of stress-related disorders, and foster compassion towards others.
Religion is often cast in opposition to science. Yet both are deeply rooted in the inner workings of the human brain. With the advent of the modern cognitive neurosciences, the scientific study of religious and spiritual phenomena has become far more sophisticated and wide-ranging. What might brain scans of people in prayer, in meditation, or under the influence of psychoactive substances teach us about religious and spiritual beliefs? Are religion and spirituality reducible to neurological processes, or might there be aspects that, at least for now, transcend scientific claims? In this book, Andrew Newberg explores the latest findings of neurotheology, the multidisciplinary field linking neuroscience with religious and spiritual phenomena. He investigates some of the most controversial—and potentially transformative—implications of a neurotheological approach for the truth claims of religion and our understanding of minds and brains. Newberg leads readers on a tour through key intersections of neuroscience and theology, including the potential evolutionary basis of religion; the psychology of religion, including mental health and brain pathology; the neuroscience of myths, rituals, and mystical experiences; how studies of altered states of consciousness shed new light on the mind-brain relationship; and what neurotheology can tell us about free will. When brain science and religious experience are considered together in an integrated approach, Newberg shows, we might come closer to a fuller understanding of the deepest questions.
The field of psychology, and especially neuropsychology, can be daunting for Christian students trying to find their way. In the face of surprising new research and radical new theories, it is tempting to limit the integration of Christianity and psychology to relatively "safe" topics that one can easily differentiate from matters of faith. In Minds, Brains, Souls and Gods, the highly esteemed professor of psychology, Malcolm Jeeves, insists on addressing the difficult questions head-on. Do I have a soul? How free am I? What makes me uniquely human? Does my brain have a "God spot"? In this hypothetical correspondence with a student, Jeeves argues that we must avoid false choices in the relation between Scripture and science. Christians need not choose between a "God of the gaps" that competes with science, a "neurotheology" that bases our understanding of God on the latest scientific theory, or a scientific reductionism that claims to have explained God away as a mere function of the brain. Students encountering the brave new world of neuroscience need not view such research as a threat to the faith. With the wisdom of a seasoned scholar, Jeeves guides us down the road less-traveled—the way of integration.
Olga Bogdashina argues persuasively that, contrary to popular belief, spirituality plays a vital role in the lives of many people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Drawing on interdisciplinary research from fields as diverse as psychology, philosophy, anthropology, linguistics, neuroscience and religion, as well as first-hand experiences of people on the spectrum, she shows how people with ASD experience their inner worlds and sense of self, and how this shapes the spiritual dimension of their lives and vice versa. She presents a coherent framework for understanding the routes of spiritual development and 'spiritual giftedness' within this group, offering insights that will inform understanding of how to support and nurture spiritual wellbeing in people with ASDs. This book gives a voice to both verbal and non-verbal individuals on the autism spectrum whose spiritual experiences, though often unconventional, are meaningful and profound. It is essential reading for all those interested in the spiritual wellbeing of this group, including pastoral carers and counsellors, ministers of religion, spiritual leaders, parents and carers and individuals on the autism spectrum.
The secret to tapping into your inner strength is not positive thinking of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. It's leveraging the surprising inner power of your mind, heart, and soul. Access the power to do what you feel you can't with practicality and wisdom.
This book provides an enlightening, representative account of how rappers talk about God in their lyrics—and why a sense of religion plays an intrinsic role within hip hop culture. • A bibliography of cited sources on rap music and hip hop culture • An index of key terms and artists • A discography of rap songs with religious themes

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