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Michiel van Elk, “Extase: Over de godhelm en andere religieuze experimenten” (boekrecensie)

Het boek Extase: Over de godhelm en andere religieuze experimenten telt ongeveer 180 pagina’s en heb ik in pakweg een dag uitgelezen. Echt weer zo’n boek waar ik blij van word! Een boek dat goed geschreven is, waarin een topwetenschapper in staat blijkt om voor een breed publiek uit te leggen wat hij aan het…

“Alleen een theoloog met oogkleppen op kan de hersenwetenschappen nog negeren”

Hersenwetenschap – brain sciences – zijn hot! Met name het idee dat ook religie vanuit het perspectief van deze wetenschappen bestudeerd kan worden, kan zich in toenemende mate op belangstelling verheugen. Gisteren stond er een interessante discussie tussen hersenwetenschapper Michiel van Elk en systematisch theoloog Christoph Hübenthal (mijn voormalige collega aan de Radboud Universiteit) in het…

Presenting the CSR at the upcoming conference of the European Society for Philosophy of Religion (ESPR)

From tomorrow (Thursday) until Sunday, the 20th biennial conference of the European Society for Philosophy of Religion (ESPR) will take place in Münster, Germany. The theme is “Transforming Religion”. I will be one of the main speakers. I am invited to be one of the main speakers at the conference and to discuss evolutionary insights…

Is Christianity Natural?

In 2011 and 2012, I attended two seminars at Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan) on the cognitive science of religion and Christianity. The seminars were led by Justin Barrett (then at Oxford, now at Fuller). The goal I had in mind was to develop a top-notch project proposal that would bridge the gap between the…

This is not Stephen Hawking – or is it?

Very cool – Amazon.com apparently sells a Lego set with  which you can build your own Stephen Hawking. And it looks awesome. Now adults have excuses again to play with Lego – who’s next? Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, or Albert Einstein? No, just kidding. I was stunned by the look of Lego-Hawking: (Source: http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-cetera/the-grand-lego-design-a-stephen-hawking-lego-model-2013038/) What…

Robert McCauley explains why religion is natural and science is not

One of the most impressive and I think groundbreaking books in the cognitive science of religion that I read recently, is Robert McCauley’s latest book Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not published by Oxford University Press. If you were allowed to read only one book on the cognitive science of religion, read this…

The “God spot” is missing

According to the Huffington Post, research conducted by the University of Missouri has shown that there is not a single point or area in the brain where experiences of God are located. The so-called “God spot” seems absent. Instead, spirituality is spread all over the brain, though there is apparently a correlation between the right…

The Belief Instinct–an interview with Jesse Bering

Later today I will post the second part of my evaluation of Jesse Bering’s The God / Belief Instinct. However, I recently found an interesting interview with Bering that also can function as an interesting summary of the book, here: http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/religion-as-instinct/ Note the following passage: When we understand how the mind works in relation to…

Jesse Bering: “The God Instinct” (Part 1)

A while ago, I read Jesse Bering’s The God Instinct (which is the British title, in the US the book was published as The Belief Instinct). It’s a highly stimulating book and one of the more interesting contributions to both the science and religion debate as well as the debate concerning atheism. I published my…

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