Redeeming Fear [book]

JASON C. WHITEHEAD
2013 unpublished
Context The last two-and-a-half decades have been marked by a veritable explosion of research in the neurosciences, sparked in part by President George H.W. Bush's promotion and government financing during the 1990s-dubbed the "Decade of the Brain. " President Obama's recent announcement of a massive federally funded program to map the human brain, with an announced scope similar to mapping the human genome, suggests that our neuroscientific explorations will likely accelerate in the years
more » ... e in the years ahead, along with our apparent fascination with these discoveries. One visible result of this research enterprise has been the application of neuroscientific research to a vast array of human endeavors. Neuroeconomics, neuroaesthetics, and neuroanthropology are just three examples of recent developments that have joined the more established field of neuropsychology. Of perhaps even more interest to pastoral theologians are the newer fields of neuroethics and neurotheology. Across disciplines, the sciences have been recruited in both responsible and sometimes in less careful ways. The press to apply brain research in such a variety of settings has led at least one scholar to decry the "neurononsense" (Scruton in van Huyssteen and Wiebe, 2011, pp. 338-356). Psychotherapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists have led the way in exploring neuroscientific foundations of attachment, affect, and narrative. (See, for example, Schore, 1994; Siegel, 1999; Cozolino, 2002 .) A few practical theologians have been studying the brain sciences in search of deeper understandings of human experience and of our religious practices, particularly in liturgy and religious education. My earlier Remembering the Future, Imagining the Past was first published in 2003, and within the domain of psychology of religion, Kelly Bulkeley published The Wondering Brain: Thinking about Religion with and beyond Cognitive Neuroscience in 2005. Jason Whitehead's Redeeming Fear is a recent entry, and one that demonstrates responsible, careful use of contempo-
doi:10.2307/j.ctt22nm5r3 fatcat:i6hz63x5czedbbc4txlanqik2a