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Fall 2009...

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44 Fall 2009 T he science of spirituality has become something of a hot topic in the past few decades. Some of this may be because the absolutist rational materialism that dominated much of the twentieth century has given way to something slightly more flexible. But mostly, it is because we finally have the advanced imaging technology — fMRI and SPECT scans and the like — to actually peer inside the brain and find out what is going on during so-called spiritual experience. No one has peered deeper than the Director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Andrew Newberg. During his career, Newberg examined the brains of Tibetan monks during peak meditation, Franciscan nuns during ecstatic prayer, Evangelicals in the throes of glossolalia — all with an eye towards understanding how brain function produces mystical experience. His books include How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist and Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief. h+ talked to him about what he's learned... THE NEUROLOGY OF SPIRTUAL EXPERIENCE A Conversation with Andrew Newberg Steve Kotler

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