Fingerprints of God: What Science Is Learning About the Brain and Spiritual Experience

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Penguin, May 14, 2009 - Religion - 336 pages
2 Reviews
From the award-winning NPR religion correspondent and author of Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife comes a fascinating investigation of how science is seeking to answer the question that has puzzled humanity for generations: Can science explain God?

Is spiritual experience real or a delusion? Are there realities that we can experience but not easily measure? Does your consciousness depend entirely on your brain, or does it extend beyond? In Fingerprints of God, award-winning journalist Barbara Bradley Hagerty delves into the discoveries science is making about how faith and spirituality affect us physically and emotionally as it attempts to understand whether the ineffable place beyond this world can be rationally -even scientifically-explained.

Hagerty interviews some of the world's top scientists to describe what their groundbreaking research reveals about our human spiritual experience. From analyses of the brain functions of Buddhist monks and Carmelite nuns, to the possibilities of healing the sick through directed prayer, to what near-death experiences illuminate about the afterlife, Hagerty reaches beyond what we think we know to understand what happens to us when we believe in a higher power.

Paralleling the discoveries of science is Hagerty's own account of her spiritual evolution. Raised a Christian Scientist, she was a scrupulous adherent until a small moment as an adult triggered a revaluation of her beliefs, which in turn led her to a new way of thinking about God and faith.

An insightful examination of what science is learning about how and why we believe, Fingerprints of God is also a moving story of one person's search for a communion with a higher power and what she discovered on that journey.

From the Hardcover edition.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jovilla - LibraryThing

Great book! The author who is an NPR journalist explores the intersection of science and religion; is it possible to believe in God while scrutinizing the evidence or lack thereof with science. She ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - co_coyote - LibraryThing

Like 60% of Americans, as Barbara Bradley Hagerty informs us, I have had my own mystical and transcendent experience. Mine left me searching in the Religion and New Age section of bookstores for years ... Read full review


Crossing the Stream
The God Who Breaks and Enters
The Biology of Belief
The Triggers for
Hunting for the God Gene
Isnt God a Trip?
Searching for the God Spot
Spiritual Virtuosos
Out of My Body or out of My Mind?
Are We Dead Yet?
A New Name for
Paradigm Shifts
Acknowledgements Notes

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About the author (2009)

Barbara Bradley Hagerty is the award-winning religion correspondent for National Public Radio. She’s the recipient of the Templeton Foundation-Cambridge University Journalism Fellowship in Science and Religion, and a Knight Fellowship at Yale Law School. Before joining NPR, she was a reporter at The Christian Science Monitor for 11 years. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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