This book explores the implications of recent insights in modern neuroscience for the church's view of spiritual formation.
This book explores the implications of recent insights in modern neuroscience for the church's view of spiritual formation. Science suggests that functions of the brain and body in collaboration with social experience, rather than a disembodied soul, provide physical basis for the mental capacities, interpersonal relations, and religious experiences of human beings. The realization that human beings are wholly physical, but with unique mental, relational, and spiritual capacities, challenges traditional views of Christian life as defined by the care of souls, a view that leads to inwardness and individuality. Psychology and neuroscience suggest the importance of developmental openness, attachment, imitation, and stories as tools in spiritual formation. Accordingly, the idea that care of embodied persons should be fundamentally social and communal sets new priorities for encouraging spiritual growth and building congregations.
Warren S. Brown
is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Travis Research Institute at the Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary. He is a research neuropsychologist with more than eighty peer-reviewed scientific papers on human brain function and behavior. He has also edited or co-authored four previous books, most recently Neuroscience, Psychology and Religion (with Malcolm Jeeves, 2009). Brad D. Strawn is Vice President for Spiritual Development and Dean of the Chapel at Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma. He recently co-edited the book Wesleyan Theology and Social Science: The Dance of Practical Divinity (2010) and he is an ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene.