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 the “How God Works” podcast, professor Dave DeSteno takes us on a journey to find out – one that combines cutting edge neuroscience with ancient wisdom.
He’ll speak to leading scientists, spiritual teachers, and religious leaders to explore what we can learn from faith practices ranging from meditation and prayer to psychedelics and fire-walking. He’ll look at how we can adapt and use spiritual practices in our own lives, whatever our beliefs -- including none at all.
By working across boundaries that usually divide people – science versus religion, one faith versus another – we’ll find new ways to make life better for everyone.
When’s the last time you actually heard silence? We’re flooded with noise everyday, so much so that we don’t even realize it. And it's not just bad for our ears, it's not great for our health or wellbeing either. We’ll take a look at how noise (and its absence) affect the workings of our mind and our emotions. Why silence can make us feel more connected to ourselves and one another, and how spiritual traditions seek to create silent spaces for contemplation and growth. We’ll also ask the question: If college is supposed to prepare students for a better life, should universities take inspiration from their monastic origins and teach students to cultivate silence as one way to grow in mind and spirit?
Justin McDaniel is the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Endowed Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Visit his website to learn more about his work.
Justin Zorn is the co-author, with Leigh Marz, of the book Golden: The Power of Silence in a World of Noise. Visit his website to learn more about the book and Justin’s other work.