BRAIN, BODY & BELIEF: The Nature of Consciousness

In the past few years, reports of tragedies caused by mental illnesses have put the spotlight on the inadequate attention paid to brain function.

Faith is often the last resort for the perplexed and suffering. Yet little rigorous empirical research has been sponsored by the church to help the many burdened with the knowledge that their brain acts upon their body, often transforming their beliefs about reality, as in hallucinations.

Classic religious platitudes are now seen for what they are — whistling in the dark.

I am pleased to report that a small cadre of Christians in the UK are aware of and anxious to address this ever growing area of concern.

“There are signs that, after several decades of exploring traditional themes such as creation and divine action, a paradigm shift is beginning to take place in the dialogue between science and religion.

The special questions surrounding the biological, mental, and theological significance of the human person have occupied centre stage for the last few years, but researchers are beginning to look at even more subtle questions regarding human wholeness, identity, and health.

The previous fascination with the nature of human consciousness is therefore broadening out to include issues of mental welfare, along with the theological bearing of practices such as mindfulness.”

From the Science & Religion Forum, UK