Special Issue "Science, Spirituality and Religion: A Neurobioethical Approach to Reconciliation"
A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2012)
Dr. Niko Boris Kohls (Website)
Brain, Mind & Healing Program, Samueli Institute at GRP - Generation Research Program, Human Science Center, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Prof.-Max-Lange-Platz 11, 83646 Bad Tölz, Germany
Fax: +49 8041 79929 11
Prof. Dr. James Giordano
1 Center for Neurotechnology Studies, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, 901 N. Stuart St., Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22203, USA 2 GRP - Generation Research Program, Human Science Center, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Prof.-Max-Lange-Platz 11, 83646 Bad Tölz, Germany
Phone: +1 703 525 0770
Fax: +1 202 280 1378
To date, an offensive stance has been the norm in many of the works that have approached science, spirituality and religion. We find this to be problematic in that it fails to address the corpus of information available to date from a variety of fields such as neuroscience, anthropology, sociology, history of science and religion, and (descriptive and comparative) theology.
Current epistemological capital is the foundation for any pragmatic orientation to the metaphysics, anthropology and ethics that comprise the primary pillars of philosophical analyses and application(s). In this light, the field of contemporary neurobioethics is mandated (by disciplinary canon) to recognise and address human spirituality, as a bio-psychosocial event and phenomenon (an effort led in part by our group). Clearly then, any truly pragmatic approach must acknowledge the codification of spiritual experience within contexts of organised and less formal religions (as religare - a bringing back together of common human experience through cognitions, actions and practices), and thus cannot, nor should not adopt a dismissive stance, but rather one that is realistic, grounded to some form of naturalism and seeks to situate this within the socio-cultural aspects of the human condition.
It is in this light that this issue seeks to elucidate that and how science and spirituality engage particular anthropological constants and variants in their respective domains. Herein is addressed Gould's notion of completely "non-overlapping magisteria", contended against in view of "harmless naturalism", parallelism, and pragmatism. The papers provide a form of what EO Wilson has termed "consilience ', in an Arendtian stance of employing the knowledge and skills we have - and lack - in purposive means as "homo faber" to find commonality (via science of the human for the human endeavour) to reconcile religious difference, acknowledge construct transcendence, and pose a viable neurobioethics that may mediate and guide this approach.
Dr. Nikola Boris Kohls
Prof. Dr. James Giordano