Logo for How God Works: The Science Behind Spirituality

How God Works: The Science Behind Spirituality

PRX

While religion and science often seem at odds, there’s one thing they can agree on: people who take part in spiritual practices tend to live longer, healthier, and happier lives. The big question is: Why? In How God Works, professor Dave DeSteno takes us on a journey to find out how spirituality impacts our minds and bodies, as well as the world in which we live.

He speaks to leading scientists and philosophers, religious thinkers, and thought leaders to explore what we can learn from the world’s faith traditions to help us meet some of life’s biggest challenges. Along the way, he’ll look at how we can adapt and use spiritual practices in our own lives, whatever our beliefs, including none at all.

It’s by working across the boundaries that usually divide us – science versus religion, one faith versus another – that we’ll find new ways to make life better for everyone.

David DeSteno

While religion and science often seem at odds, there’s one thing they can agree on: people who take part in spiritual practices tend to live longer, healthier, and happier lives. The big question is: Why? In How God Works, professor Dave DeSteno takes us on a journey to find out how spirituality impacts our minds and bodies, as well as the world in which we live.

He speaks to leading scientists and philosophers, religious thinkers, and thought leaders to explore what we can learn from the world’s faith traditions to help us meet some of life’s biggest challenges. Along the way, he’ll look at how we can adapt and use spiritual practices in our own lives, whatever our beliefs, including none at all.

It’s by working across the boundaries that usually divide us – science versus religion, one faith versus another – that we’ll find new ways to make life better for everyone.

David DeSteno

How to Forgive

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December 11, 202232min 51sec

‘Tis the season for giving and…forgiving. But while forgiveness is something to which we often aspire, it can be harder than it seems at times. It's human to feel the tension between the urge for revenge and the intent to forgive, especially when the hurt or betrayal is great. That tension shows up in many religions too, though forgiveness usually wins. But it’s not just a religious ideal, it’s also a biological necessity.

We’ll talk to evolutionary psychologist Michael McCullough about the evolutionary case for forgiveness and why it’s a show of strength, not weakness. And theologian Miroslav Volf about the Christian foundation for forgiveness, and the tools religion can offer when forgiveness feels impossible.

Michael McCullough is a Professor of Psychology at UC San Diego. He is author of the book Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct. Find out more about his work on his website.

Professor Miroslav Volf is founder and director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture. Read his book, Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace, and listen to the Center’s podcast For the Life of the World.