Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What part of "holy, holy, holy" don't you understand?

Speaking of the need to safeguard transcendence against the encroachments of various disciplines (be they among the humanities or sciences), Columbia U. professor of behavioral medicine Richard P. Sloan has this to say in the latest issue of Christianity Today:
"Trying to quantify religious experience is like trying to measure a sunbeam with a ruler... [or] like trying to quantify the aesthetic experience of a Beethoven symphony by counting the number of times a listener smiles."
This in contrast to U. Penn scientists in the budding field of neurotheology who wonder whether images of brain activity captured during Buddhist meditation and Christian prayer were "photographs of God."

Sloan's debunking book is in the oven. For an example of one of many right ways to explore the intersection of faith and mental health, this one by Kathryn Greene-McCreight comes highly acclaimed and is already out.