Studying the Religious Mind - Methodology in the Cognitive Science of Religion - Armin W. Geertz

Studying the Religious Mind - Methodology in the Cognitive Science of Religion - Armin W. Geertz

10. Tours of Heaven in Light of the Neuroscientific Study of Religious Experience

Studying the Religious Mind - Methodology in the Cognitive Science of Religion - Armin W. Geertz

István Czachesz [+-]
University of Tromsø
István Czachesz is Professor in the Department of History and Religious Studies, University of Tromsø and Review Editor, Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion.

Description

This chapter addresses the neuroscientific background of ancient tours of heaven. McNamara’s work on religious experience is used in the context of other philosophical, cognitive, and neuroscientific research. After discussing the definition and phenomenology of subjective experience, the chapter outlines three possible understandings of religious experience in the cognitive research tradition. The chapter then situates ancient tours of heaven in the context of flights and ascents in religious traditions and discusses how neuroscientific evidence sheds light on various aspects of such experiences. In particular, McNamara’s work is combined with Michael Marsh’s study of extracorporeal experiences to account for the two-phase narrative sequence of the tours. The model is applied to the tour of heaven in the Ascension of Isaiah, followed by a brief discussion of other early Jewish and Christian apocalypses.

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Citation

Czachesz, István. 10. Tours of Heaven in Light of the Neuroscientific Study of Religious Experience. Studying the Religious Mind - Methodology in the Cognitive Science of Religion. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 197-216 Oct 2022. ISBN 9781800501614. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=43010. Date accessed: 19 Jul 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43010. Oct 2022

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