How God Changes Your Brain

How God Changes Your Brain

Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist

By Andrew Newberg; Mark Robert Waldman

Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345503428, 348pp.

Publication Date: March 23, 2010

God is great--for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Based on new evidence culled from brain-scan studies, a wide-reaching survey of people's religious and spiritual experiences, and the authors' analyses of adult drawings of God, neuroscientist Andrew Newberg and therapist Mark Robert Waldman offer the following breakthrough discoveries:
- Not only do prayer and spiritual practice reduce stress, but just twelve minutes of meditation per day may slow down the aging process.
- Contemplating a loving God rather than a punitive God reduces anxiety and depression and increases feelings of security, compassion, and love.
- Fundamentalism, in and of itself, can be personally beneficial, but the prejudice generated by extreme beliefs can permanently damage your brain.
- Intense prayer and meditation permanently change numerous structures and functions in the brain, altering your values and the way you perceive reality.
Both a revelatory work of modern science and a practical guide for readers to enhance their physical and emotional health, How God Changes Your Brain is a first-of-a-kind book about faith that is as credible as it is inspiring.

About the Author
Andrew Newberg, M.D., is the director of research at the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Medical College. He is the author of several books, including the bestselling Why God Won t Go Away, and his research has been featured in Time; Newsweek; O, The Oprah Magazine; and on the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel, the BBC, and NPR.

Mark Robert Waldman, one of the world's leading experts on communication, spirituality, and the brain, is on the faculty at Loyola Marymount University's College of Business and the Holmes Institute.

Praise For How God Changes Your Brain

“To this musty debate, Newberg, perhaps America's leading expert on the neurological basis of religion, brings a fresh perspective. His new book summarizes several years of groundbreaking research on the biological basis of religious experience. And it offers plenty to challenge skeptics and believers alike.”--Michael Gerson’s editorial dedicated to the book for The Washington Post

“The authors present an elaborate, engaging meditation program to reduce anger and fear and increase serenity and love. They embrace faith (not necessarily religious), diversity, tolerance, and “compassionate communication. . . . A substantial advance in the self-help/spirituality genre and an excellent choice for general collections.”Library Journal

“Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman give us a magnificent, comprehensive explanation of how spiritual beliefs and experiences enhance changes in our brains and yield better health and well-being. They bring science and religion closer together.”—Herbert Benson, M.D., author of The Relaxation Response

How God Changes Your Brain is a highly practical, easy-to-read guide on the interface between spirituality and neuroscience, filled with useful information that can make your brain and your life better, starting today!”—Daniel G. Amen, M.D. author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life

“Not since William James’s The Varieties of Religious Experience has there been a work that so exquisitely integrates science and spirituality. Newberg and Waldman have written a book that is wise, up-to-date, scholarly, mature, and imaginative. At the same time it is a down-to-earth work that will surely inspire repeated readings.”—George Vaillant, M.D., author of Spiritual Evolution

How God Changes Your Brain boldly explores the relationship between the structure of our brains and our ability not only to experience but to cultivate innate compassion and deep inner peace.” —Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D., author of My Stroke of Insight

“The authors present an illuminating and encouraging view of the inner and outer workings of our neurological perception of reality and how profoundly it is affected by our spiritual practices. Their practical exercises for a brain tune-up are revolutionary, and I’m enjoying immensely including them in my daily spiritual regime.” —Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation

“Stimulating and provocative. . . .The authors conclude that meditation and other spiritual practices permanently strengthen neural functioning in specific parts of the brain that aid in lowering anxiety and depression, enhancing social awareness and empathy, and improving cognitive functioning.. . . this forceful study could stir controversy among scientists and philosophers.”—Publishers Weekly