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 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.

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 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.

David DeSteno

Is Burning Man a Party or a Pilgrimage? (2022)

Thumbnail for "Is Burning Man a Party or a Pilgrimage? (2022)".
August 27, 202338min 19sec

Every year, thousands of people head to Nevada's Black Rock Desert for a week at Burning Man. And while from the outside, it might seem like a place for partying, drugs, and debauchery, to many, it offers something deeper, even life changing.

We’ll ask neuroscientist Molly Crockett and Episcopal minister Alex Leach, both burners themselves: Is Burning Man a new type of spiritual gathering? How and why does it deeply move people? And should more traditional faiths aim to have a bit more Burning Man in them? After all, Jesus went to the desert to find himself. Maybe we should too.

For more on Molly’s research, visit her website or read her article in The Guardian. Alex Leach’s camp at Burning Man is Religious AF. Special thanks to Alex for recording interviews and ambient audio for this episode at this year’s Burning Man.