Human religious experiences are remarkably uniform; many can be pharmacologically induced. Recent research into the neurology of religious experience has shown that, when worshipping or praying, a certain part of the brain, apparently dormant during other activities, becomes active. What does all this mean for those of faith and those with none? In this fascinating book barrister Charles Foster takes a survey of the evidence -- from shamans to medieval mystics, to out-of-body experiences and epilepsy, via Jerusalem and middle-class Christianity -- and assesses its significance. Written in short, accessible chapters, this is a fascinating tour of religious and mystical experiences and their relation to human physiology.
Charles Foster is a writer, barrister and tutor in Medical Law and Ethics at the University of Oxford and sits as a part-time judge in the criminal and civil courts. He read veterinary medicine and law at the University of Cambridge and has written, edited or contributed to thirty books. His most recent book is THE SELFLESS GENE, which explores the creationism/evolution debate. He writes regularly for many publications.