Challenges facing the neurological study of religious behavior, belief, and experience

Wesley J. Wildman, Patrick McNamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The neurological study of religious behavior, belief, and experience faces many challenges related to research conception, experimental design, and interpretation of results. Some of these problems are common to other types of neurological study of behavioral and cognitive phenomena. Others are distinctive to the specifically religious domain of behavior, belief, and experience. This paper discusses eight of these problems and three key strategic principles for mitigating them. It then proposes an eight-step framework for research into the neurology of religious behavior, belief, and experience that implements the three strategic principles and addresses all eight of the problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-242
Number of pages31
JournalMethod and Theory in the Study of Religion
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Evolution
  • Neuroscience
  • Religious behavior
  • Religious belief
  • Religious experience

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