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Masterclass in Neurotheology

NEUROTHEOLOGY Masterclass

hosted by the Center for Interdisciplinary Research  (www.thecir.info)

Sept. 10 – Dec. 10, 2016

 

This advanced interdisciplinary course meets for eight 3-hour Saturday morning sessions over a 3-month period.

 

No background in theology or science is required, but a commitment to reading the notes, which are drawn from Ron Choong’s PhD dissertation, is expected.

 

This inaugural CIR Master-Class will feature Ron Choong’s doctoral work submitted as an interdisciplinary PhD dissertation in 2009 to Princeton Seminary.

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“Confessions” – Book VIII: Chapters 7 – 12

A clip from the movie “Restless Heart: The Confessions of Augustine.” Bishop Ambrose is depicted here embracing Augustine and later baptizing him.

 

This week, we will finish the rest of Book VIII – chapters 7 – 12 of Augustine’s Confessions.

In these final chapters, we encounter the monumental moment when Augustine finally devotes himself to the Christian faith as he recounts in great detail in these writings.

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“Confessions” – Book VIII: Chapters 1 – 6

 

“Born Again” by Dean Kermit Allison

 

After bit of a break we’re back once again.  We will cover Book VIII: Chapters 1 – 6.

 

At the start of this book, Augustine has achieved an understanding of God and the humility to accept Christ, but still has reservations about being fully committed to the Church.

 

This is the beginning of his conversion experience.

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Neuroscience of Memory and Salvation (Soteriology)

Scientists watch glowing molecules morph into memories in real time

Memory-forming molecules traveling around the brain to form new memories.

 

Came upon this site about the latest research on how memory forms in the brain.

This relates to some articles I wrote about pertaining to cognitive neuroscience and theology.  (The summaries on Peterson and Rev. Choong in particular.)

The key point to understand is that when memory forms, or when new memories form in your brain or when you learn something new (like I hope you’re doing now), there’s a physical change that’s occurring in your brain – i.e. your brain changes.

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Through the Wormhole: Did We Invent God?

 

Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite series to watch on tv that’s on the Science Channel.

 

From time to time, they’ll show episodes concerning God and science.

 

This episode explores the latest research done in psychology and neuroscience about where the origins of human belief in the supernatural may have come from.

 

This episode poses interesting questions, such as:

  • Does God only exist in our minds?
  • Is a belief in God “hardwired” within us?
  • What is required to believe in a God or supernatural entity? Can animals believe or sense the divine? (i.e. at the bare minimum you need a theory of mind as far as we can tell.)
  • Is belief in God just a remnant from our evolutionary past to explain what’s going on in our world?
  • Is it just childish superstition that we haven’t outgrown?
  • Did God create us? Or did we create God?

 

 

Update: New Menu and sub-menu topic added – Cognitive Neuroscience and Theology

Just created several new pages pertaining to current studies within Cognitive Neuroscience and Theology under the new menu category Science and Theology on top.

Some topics of interest include:

  • free will; how human emotions affect our decisions
  • biblical understanding of the afterlife
  • is there an intermediate state after death?
  • do our identities survive after death?  If so, then how?
  • what the Apostle Paul believed about the afterlife
  • eschatological ontology
  • role of genetics and environmental influences upon the brain in relation with human free will
  • consciousness and the soul; do we even have a soul?
  • the selective and fluid nature of memory; false memories
  • Why are there so many factual discrepancies in the gospel narratives and accounts in the New Testament?

Check out the new page here.