Colloquium: Does Religion Originate in the Brain?

Colloquium: Does Religion Originate in the Brain?
September 10, 2010

This Fall Term EKU Libraries will continue its effort to encourage casual dialogue across disciplinary boundaries among faculty and students by hosting hour-long, informally moderated colloquiums on selected Friday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. in Main Library Room 201.

Each colloquium will be devoted to text, video or audio material chosen by a faculty member who will also moderate the discussion. The material may be of any subject, scholarly or topical, peer-reviewed or popular, including original work, fiction and poetry. The only requirement is that the item(s) under discussion be accessible online (including, of course, any of EKU Libraries’ many subscription resources).

On September 10, Dr. Mike Austin will moderate discussion of Does Religion Originate in the Brain?

Much “cognitive science of religion” (CSR) research asserts that religious belief can be “biologized” as well as psychoanalyzed. Like secularists in previous centuries, contemporary CSR researchers claim that humans have biological hard-wiring and certain psychological tendencies that encourage the creation of religion, or the “God idea.” If such “scientific” authors are correct that belief in God is nothing more than genetic hard-wiring reenforced by social pressure and traditions, and that humans are merely physical beings, the implications are immense. Besides the existence of God, the existence of the soul is also at stake, and the suggestion that our choices, moral behavior, and ability to reason and seek truth are physically determined is hard to escape.

Refreshments kindly provided by EKU Student Government Association.

Faculty interested in participating as moderators are encouraged to contact Rob Sica.


Of related interest:

Dr. Austin’s blog

Dr. Austin’s Psychology Today blog

Why We See Spirits and Souls

Why Are We Religious? [video]

God, Religion, and Weeping Statues [video]