Augsburg Fortress

The Mystical Mind

The Mystical Mind

How does the mind experience the sacred? What biological mechanisms are involved in mystical states and trances? Is there a neurological basis for patterns in comparative religions? Does religion have an evolutionary function? This pathbreaking work by two leading medical researchers explores the neurophysiology of religious experience. Building on an explanation of the basic structure of the brain, the authors focus on parts most relevant to human experience, emotion, and cognition. On this basis, they plot how the brain is involved in mystical experiences. Successive chapters apply this scheme to mythmaking, ritual and liturgy, meditation, near-death experiences, and theology itself. Anchored in such research, the authors also sketch the implications of their work for philosophy, science, theology, and the future of religion.
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$23.00

  • ISBN 9780800631635
  • Format Paperback
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 240
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Publication Date Aug 30, 1999

Endorsements

"The authors have over a number of years developed the best available neuropsychological theory of religion. However, it hasn't reached as many people as it deserves to. This book will be a welcome addition to the literature."
---Fraser Watts
University of Cambridge

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1 -- The Brain and Central Nervous System
Chapter 2 -- The Basis for the Mystical Mind
Chapter 3 -- Why the Mind Creates Myth
Chapter 4 -- Ritual, Liturgy, and the Mind
Chapter 5 -- The Mind, Meditation, and Mysticism
Chapter 6 -- The Near-Death Experience as Mystical Phenomenon
Chapter 7 -- The Origin of Religion
Chapter 8 -- Neurotheology
Chapter 9 -- Consciousness and Reality
Chapter 10 -- Consciousness and Reality
Chapter 11 -- Metatheology and Megatheology
Epilogue
1