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The Image of God of Neurotheology: Reflections of Culturally Based Religious Commitments or Evolutionarily Based Neuroscientific Theories?

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In Augustinian fashion, James B. Ashbrook and Carol Rausch Albright develop a neurotheology that finds evolutionarily based correlations between the functions of the human mind-brain and the roles God plays in human life. I argue that their assumptions of anthropomorphism, that the human mind-brain must conceptualize its environment in human terms, and realism, that anthropomorphism is correct, are evolutionarily unlikely. I conclude that the image of God (imago dei) the authors find reflected in the human mind-brain appears to derive from their Christian religious commitments rather than from evolutionary theory.

Keywords: Augustinianism; anthropomorphism; epistemic realism; evolutionary theory; image of God; mind-brain; neurotheology; religion; science

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR

Publication date: March 1, 1999


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