The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul

The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul

by Mario Beauregard, Denyse O'Leary

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Do religious experiences come from God, or are they merely the random firing of neurons in the brain? Drawing on his own research with Carmelite nuns, neuroscientist Mario Beauregard shows that genuine, life-changing spiritual events can be documented. He offers compelling evidence that religious experiences have a nonmaterial origin, making a convincing case for what many in scientific fields are loath to consider—that it is God who creates our spiritual experiences, not the brain.

Beauregard and O'Leary explore recent attempts to locate a "God gene" in some of us and claims that our brains are "hardwired" for religion—even the strange case of one neuroscientist who allegedly invented an electromagnetic "God helmet" that could produce a mystical experience in anyone who wore it. The authors argue that these attempts are misguided and narrow-minded, because they reduce spiritual experiences to material phenomena.

Many scientists ignore hard evidence that challenges their materialistic prejudice, clinging to the limited view that our experiences are explainable only by material causes, in the obstinate conviction that the physical world is the only reality. But scientific materialism is at a loss to explain irrefutable accounts of mind over matter, of intuition, willpower, and leaps of faith, of the "placebo effect" in medicine, of near-death experiences on the operating table, and of psychic premonitions of a loved one in crisis, to say nothing of the occasional sense of oneness with nature and mystical experiences in meditation or prayer. Traditional science explains away these and other occurrences as delusions or misunderstandings, but by exploring the latest neurological research on phenomena such as these, The Spiritual Brain gets to their real source.

Editorial Reviews

World Magazine

Drawing on Beauregard’s own research into religious experiences, a researched case for the nonmaterial—and ultimately spiritual—nature of man.

Jeffrey M. Schwartz

A very important book, clearly explaining non-materialist neuroscience in simple terms appropriate for the lay reader.

Andrew Newberg

The Spiritual Brain is a wonderful and important book...a necessary read for both the scientist and the religious person.

Booklist (starred review)

Lends scientific credence to the existence of a higher or universal consciousness.

Christian's Scholar Review

Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary have produced a provocatively titled book covering an equally provocative topic.

Philadelphia Inquirer

Beauregard uses evidence to show that the self or soul is not simply locked inside the skull.

Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

I heartily advocate the purchase of this book

Dean Radin

A refreshing antidote to the arguments offered by some scientists who insist that their minds, and yours, are meaningless illusions.

From the Publisher

"The material is heady, but narrator Patrick Lawlor keeps the experience pleasant with an enthusiastic tone that is appropriately tinged with wonder." —AudioFile


Lends scientific credence to the existence of a higher or universal consciousness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061752759
Publisher: HarperOne
Publication date: 03/17/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 745,757
File size: 1 MB

Customer Reviews