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

Death: Embracing the Last Transition

Thumbnail for "Death: Embracing the Last Transition".
May 22, 202232min 56sec

As a society that fears death, we tend to avoid the subject. But the key to having a positive end-of-life experience might come in doing just the opposite. On this episode, we’ll hear from philosopher Simon Critchley, Boston-area chaplains Ruth Delfiner, Sarah Byrne-Martelli, and Maude Quinn, and Threshold Choir singer Leigh Davis about what makes a good death, and the many rituals, spiritual or secular, that ease our transition out of this world.

Simon Critchley is the author of many books about death, including The Book of Dead Philosophers and How to Stop Living and Start Worrying. Find out more about his other work, including his most recent book, Bald, on his website.

In addition to her work as a chaplain, Sarah Byrne-Martelli is the author of Memory Eternal: Living with Grief as Orthodox Christians, due out this summer.

Find out about Leigh Davis’s art on her website, where you can also see some of her collaborations with the Threshold Choir. Find out more about the Threshold Choir here.

Threshold Choir Song Credits:

Beyond Weeping

Rest in each breath

Words and Music by Annie Garretson for Threshold Choir

Sung by Dorothy Calvani, Leigh Davis, Winnie Lee & Marcia Picciotto

Calming, Resting, Breathing

Words and Music by Patricia Hallam for Threshold Choir

Sung by Leigh Davis, Mckendree Key & Georgia Elrod

Ocean Breath

Rest Easy

Words and Music by Helen Greenspan for Threshold Choir

Sung by Pittsburgh Threshold Choir