"In a key study done in Beijing, very interesting differences were found in these two self-processing regions in religious Christians compared to non-religious subjects. In non-religious people, self-judgments (judgments about traits people believe describe themselves) were clearly associated with increases in the 'It’s About Me' brain area. Religious Christians, however, did not show increases in the 'It’s About Me' area when making these kinds of self-related assessments." Jeffrey M. Schwartz explains the effects of religion on an interesting part of the brain.
During most of the last century, the consensus was that brain structure was pretty much set, fixed and immutable after some specified period of childhood development. More recent research, however, shows that experience changes not just brain structure or anatomy but also the functional organization or physiology of the brain. And this reorganization is what people mean by “neuroplasticity.”
The last fifteen to twenty years have witnessed a lot of talk about “neuroplasticity”—the idea that we can “rewire” our brains. The very idea has spawned a new kind of industry, the “neuro-industry.” From neuroeconomics, neurocriticism, and neurotheology, to neuromagic and neuromarketing, “neuro” sells books and seminars. But the way that findings in contemporary neuroscience are routinely applied to issues for which they were never meant to serve leads some to refer to the whole “neuro-this-that-and-the-other-thing” as nothing more than “neurobollocks.”
Theologian Joshua Farris challenges the growing assumption that belief in immaterial souls is passé, specifically addressing the arguments of Joel Green, and reflecting on 2 Corinthians 5:1-10.
This is Part 1 of our series on Theological Anthropology, "What Is Man, That Thou Art Mindful of Him?"
James K.A. Smith, Betsy Barber, and Todd Pickett discuss: suspicions about psychology in Christian spirituality, ancient psychologists' insight on spiritual formation, why the body is so important in Christian theology and spiritual practice, prayer, and formation of the whole person.
"I would like to praise Harris for writing Free Will. I think he deserves it. But he would probably tell me that he only did what his genes, political and economic background, etc. causally determined him to do. Therefore, no praise is deserved."
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