Theology in Dialogue with Neuroscientific and Evolutionary-emergent Approaches to Human “Religious” Experience
The proposed research analyzes and evaluates contemporary neuroscientific approaches to “religious” experience used by neuroimaging, with respect to their background in evolutionary-emergent theories and in light of hidden ontological commitments, interests and intentions, in order to clarify the concepts involved and relate them to questions arising from theological hermeneutics and material dogmatics. The aim of the project is to contribute to the current dialogue, which is dominated largely by apologetic accounts and marked by the virtual non-participation of Continental theologians. In particular, the concepts of “religion” used by scholars in the neurosciences need to be analyzed, viewed in the broader context of an evolutionary understanding of human becoming and compared to their use in theological anthropology and hamartiology. The proposed research will culminate in a monograph, aimed at expanding and improving the current dialogue.
Prof. Dr. Markus Mühling is Professor of Systematic Theology and International-interdisciplinary Dialogue at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany. He had taught at the Universities of Heidelberg, Germany, and King’s College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, as well. His research interests are on the one hand questions of Systematic Theology like Trinitarian Theology, Atonement, Eschatology and Ethics and on the other hand he deals with questions of the dialogue between theology and science. Among the books he had published are „Gott ist Liebe, Marburg (Elwert), 2nd ed. 2005“, Versöhnendes Handeln – Handeln in Versöhnung. Gottes Opfer an die Menschen, Göttingen (V&R) 2007“, „Grundinformation Eschatologie. Systematische Theologie aus der Perspektive der Hoffnung, Göttingen (V&R) 2005“, „Einstein und die Religion. Das Wechselverhältnis zwischen religiös-weltanschaulichen Gehalten und naturwissenschaftlicher Theoriebildung Albert Einsteins in seiner Entwicklung, (V&R) 2011“ and „Systematische Theologie: Ethik. Eine christliche Theologie vorzüglichen Handelns, Göttingen (V&R) 2012.