Understanding the Brain: From Cells to Behavior to Cognition

John E. Dowling

Dowling, a Harvard neuroscientist, deals with the brain on every level, beginning with clear and engaging descriptions of its basic chemical and physical features and building upward to its operations during moments of sensation, learning, memory, emotion, and rationality. Especially interesting are his closing reflections on consciousness and his expressions of doubt that science can ever fully explain it.

How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist

Andrew Newberg, MD, and Mark Robert Waldman

One of the most popular authors on the subject of God and the brain, Newberg provides a readable and engaging look at religious belief through a neuroscientific lens. Though not a Christian, Newberg rejects the reductionist conclusion that understanding brain activity exposes belief in God as a purely neural phenomenon.

Born Believers: The Science of Children’s Religious Belief

Justin L. Barrett

Focusing on studies of children and their religious or proto-religious beliefs, Fuller Seminary’s Justin Barrett makes a convincing case that there is nothing unnatural about humanity’s religious impulse. He skillfully dismantles common objections to the proposition that belief in God reflects an accurate perception of reality.

The God-Shaped Brain: How Changing Your View of God Transforms Your Life

Timothy R. Jennings, MD

Jennings, an experienced Christian psychiatrist, shows how different brain features relate to habits of mind, moral choices, past traumas, and—most fundamentally—our view of God. Bringing both Scripture and brain science to bear, he deals with subjects like love, fear, sin, judgment, addiction, freedom, and the eternal life to come.

Neuroscience and the Soul: The Human Person in Philosophy, Science, and Theology

Edited by Thomas M. Crisp, Steven Porter, and Gregg A. Ten Elshof

This book is for those who love philosophical theology and want to swim in the deep end. Mind-body dualism gets a bad rap nowadays, supposedly because science has shown we are nothing but our bodies. Representing multiple sides of the debate, the authors provide sharp arguments both for and against a materialist view of human nature.

Bradley L. Sickler is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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