It is the study of correlations of neural phenomena with subjective experiences of spirituality and hypotheses to explain these phenomena.
This contrasts with the Psychology of religion which studies psychological, rather than neural, states.
Proponents of neurotheology say there is a neurological and evolutionary basis for subjective experiences traditionally categorized as spiritual or religious. The field has formed the basis of several popular science books, but has received criticism from psychologists.
"Neurotheology" describes the scientific study of the neural correlates of religious or spiritual beliefs, experiences and practices. Other researchers prefer to use terms like "spiritual neuroscience" or "neuroscience of religion". Researchers in the field attempt to explain the neurological basis for religious experiences, such as:
1) The Near-death-experience (NDE)
2) Visions & Apparitions
3) Tunnels of Light
4) The perception that time, fear or self-
consciousness have dissolved
5) Spiritual awe
6) Oneness with the universe
7) Ecstatic trance
8) Sudden enlightenment
9) Altered states of consciousness
This is a relatively new field of neuroscience that seeks to explain the numerous experiences outlines above.
It has been shown, through extensive studies (some with the use of the so-called 'God Helmet') and new methods of brain imagery, that these experiences are normal functions of the brain under relatively extreme circumstances such as stress, neurochemical dysfunction, surgery, mental illness and anoxia.
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