Selflessness in the Brain conveys the manner by which "selflessness" serves as a neuropsychological and religious foundation for spiritually transcendent experiences. The book combines neurological case studies and neuroscience research with religious accounts of transcendence experiences from the perspective of both the neurosciences and the history of religions. Initial chapters provide a context for the subjective experience of "transcendence," with subsequent chapters giving a historical summary of different philosophical and religious perspectives by which the "self" has been conceptualized over time and across cultures. This is followed by a review of the neuroscience research that describes the manner by which the brain processes and creates a "self." This research highlights an association between reduced right hemisphere and right parietal lobe functioning and increased transcendence, and examines neurological cases in which injuries have occurred to those parts of the brain associated with self-orientation. Selflessness in the Brain presents a model that bridges the divide between neuroscience and religion, and will be critical reading for advanced students and researchers in both fields.
- Creates a common focus on selflessness as a reliable construct for use by all disciplines interested in the basis of spiritual experience
- Links neuroanatomical data with religious texts from multiple faith traditions to describe the necessity of selflessness for spiritual experience and transformation
- Highlights disorders in neurological functioning that result in disorders of the self
Advanced students and researchers in neuroscience, neurology, neuropsychology, and cognitive science, as well as advanced students and researchers in the humanities (such as religious studies and philosophy) studying the neurobiological underpinnings of spiritual experience
2. Nature of Transcendence
3. Science of Spirituality
4. Neurology of the "Self"
5. Disorders of the Self
6. Research on Neurology of Transcendence
7. Universal Neuropsychological Model of Spirituality
8. Faith Traditions/Philosophies and Selflessness
- No. of pages:
- © Academic Press 2019
- 1st September 2018
- Academic Press
- Paperback ISBN:
Dr. Johnstone has expertise in the integration of the neurosciences and humanities, completing two fellowships sponsored by the Templeton Foundation, including one on “Religious Experiences and Moral Behaviours” in Princeton, and one on “Religion and Science” in Oxford, both of which involved internationally renowned theologians, philosophers, and neuroscientists. He has long-term expertise in neuropsychology, having served as the primary investigator of a TBI Model System Center, and was selected by the CDC to serve on an expert panel to write a report on TBI rehabilitation for the federal Congress in 2012. He is the author of more than 90 publications on the neurobiological foundations of spiritual experience
Retired Professor, Department of Health Psychology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
Dr. Cohen has degrees in biology and anthropology, and his research focuses on the intersection of religious studies, neuropsychology, and neuroscience. He completed a Fulbright-Hays fellowship in India where he studied cultural interpretations and religious traditional treatments of mental health disorders (as they would be understood by western standards). He has published numerous articles on the neuropsychology of spiritual experiences.
Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA