Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


This Is Your Brain on God

NPR reports on the work of folks doing Neurotheology, the work of studying neural pathways used in religious experience. Researchers talk about the predictable ways in which the neural pathways are different for people experienced in prayer. The article says,
It was the same when he imaged the brains of Franciscan nuns praying and Sikhs chanting. They all felt the same oneness with the universe. When it comes to the brain, Newberg says, spiritual experience is spiritual experience.

"There is no Christian, there is no Jewish, there is no Muslim, it's just all one," Newberg says.

A little theological dynamite there — but, remember, the research is just beginning.
Preliminary studies reveal that routine prayer and meditation is good for both brain and immune system. The article also notes,
"Just two months' practice among rank amateurs led to a systematic change in both the brain as well as the immune system in more positive directions," he said.

For example, they developed more antibodies to a flu virus than did their colleagues who did not meditate.
The full text of this article within a larger report is online here: Prayer May Reshape Your Brain … And Your Reality. The work does not give a scientific way of verifying God so much as verifying that prayer and meditation do work wonders for the one praying and meditating. Yet, for those of us who pray, it's an unecessary affirmation, but a welcome one nonetheless. That's my take. What's your thoughts on this?


The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor



Post a Comment

<< Home