Neuroscience & the Soul Icon

Neuroscience & the Soul


2012-2013 Research Theme: Neuroscience & the Soul (sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation)

Are neuroscience and Christian belief compatible?

Contemporary sciences are now addressing questions about human nature once thought only to be accessible to philosophy and theology. How should Christians think about the integration of biblical teaching and empirical scientific discoveries?

Does the soul exist?

Belief in an immaterial soul has been around for thousands of years. What does the best neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and theology have to say about the soul? Are we more than merely matter?

Are we free?

We all appear to be free creatures. We make choices and decisions every day. But how does our perceived freedom fit with recent discoveries in neuroscience?

What happens when we die?

What lies beyond the grave is an age-old human mystery. Christian theology offers us hope for a life beyond biological death. But what does neuroscience have to say about life after death, and is it compatible with Christian belief?

What is the nature of consciousness?

How you explain consciousness depends on what you think human beings are. If we’re made up entirely of physical stuff, what accounts for our conscious experience? What do neuroscientists and philosophers have to say about it?

What does Scripture teach about human persons?

Humans are made in God’s image. But what does that mean? And what else can we learn from the Bible about what we are? In recent scholarship, some biblical scholars and theologians have denied the existence of the soul. Where does the Bible come down on the soul?

What does neuroscience have to do with spirituality?

Some psychiatrists and psychologists are making connections between ancient Christian spiritual practices and neuroscientific data. Does neuroscience have anything to teach us about spiritual growth?

What can neuroscience teach us about mental health?

A big part of a good life includes mental health. And the more we learn about the brain, the more we’re finding ways to understand the important components of a healthy mental life. How does neuroscience shed light on mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and addiction?

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