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Empirical Theology And Brain Research

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Chapter Summary

Van der Ven has made a proposal how to develop a comparative empirical theology of mindful action". As regards van der Ven's conception of integrating aspects of cognitive science into empirical theology, three core questions can be put: (1) What is the exact benefit of brain research for empirical practical theology, especially when the first two aspects of brain research (sensation/perception and automatic reactions) are irrelevant for empirical theology? (2) What specific contribution can brain research make in the field of religion and religious experience? (3) What would be the best way to justify the interest in overcoming the separation not only between body and brain, but also between body and mind, as we find it in Cartesian dualism? This chapter very briefly gives answers to these three questions, also reflecting on their philosophical foundations.

Keywords: brain research; Cartesian dualism; empirical theology; religious experience



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