This past October, the Catholic Studies Program at Georgetown University hosted a talk by Dr. Andrew B. Newberg. A pioneer in the area of “Neurotheology,” Dr. Newberg discussed how belief in God corresponds to neural changes, the impact of prayer and spirituality on the promotion of health and well being, and the neural correlates of religious practices and experiences.
“…sometimes when people think about God, or when they have a spiritual experience, they’ll use other words to help describe the experience. For example, they might think of God as a being; they might think of God as love; they might think of God as a force. And of course, one of the interesting questions that we can ask – both from a phenomenological perspective, as well as from a biological one – is: …when people use these different descriptors, are they literally thinking about different things, or are them simply thinking about or feeling the same thing, and describing it differently?”