Past Meetup

New Series Begins: The Spiritual Brain: Science and Religious Experience

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The Create Meaning program for the Fall of 2014 will be focusing on a new series on the topic of The Spiritual Brain: Science and Religious Experience.

Please register on this site now to receive notice of future programs, and to R.S.V.P. your attendance:

Each session in this series will present a 30 minute video on a different aspect of this topic, followed by discussion.

Spirituality through a Scientific Lens

One of humanity’s most awesome forces, the spread and practice of religion has exerted a profoundly outsized effect on individuals and entire civilizations, altering the course of history. The religious impulse is so powerfully pervasive that neuroscience has posed a provocative question: Are our brains wired to worship?

How do religious experiences originate? What is their meaning? And why does religion play such a huge role in human experience? In this captivating series, you will peer directly into the seat of all human thought and action as you experience a leading researcher delve into the relationship between brain function and spirituality.

The Spiritual Brain explores the brain’s neurophysiological structure and religious development from infancy through late adulthood. We will explore how the brain and spirituality appear to develop in parallel throughout a person’s life span, tracking through different stages of religious awareness. We will examine such questions as:

• How do the various parts and systems of the human brain work together to create and sustain different beliefs about the world;

• In what ways do religious beliefs and practices have measurable, biological effects on the individuals who hold and engage in them?

• Can neuroscientific data help us to better understand how God, religion, and spirituality may be inextricably intertwined?

Session 1: Why Do We Have a Spiritual Brain?

We humans possess highly evolved brains that enable us to create sophisticated systems of religious beliefs and practices. In this first session, we will examine the theories that seek to explain the development of this outstanding organ showing how and why we have such a powerful inclination to search for a spiritual ream.