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1/2/2008     Conference on Religion and Cognitive Science, Jan 16-18

Religion and Cognitive Science:
From Conflict to Connection

Link to Audio Files from Conference

A Conference Co-Sponsored by
The Graduate Theological Union and the University of California, Berkeley

Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, CA
January 16-18, 2008

This conference brings together scholars from theology, religious studies, psychology, neuroscience, and many other disciplines to discuss the interaction of religion and cognitive science. Building on three years of collaborative dialogues between GTU and UCB faculty and students, this gathering will include focused discussions of mind-body philosophy, psychosocial dynamics, contemplative practice, and caregiving in pastoral and clinical settings, along with critically-informed methodological approaches to new research.

The conference is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, January 16

1 pm Introductions
1:15 Eugene Taylor (Saybrook Graduate School): “‘Come Hither and be Measured’:
On the Problematic Relation Between Cognitive Science and Spiritual Experience from a Jamesean Perspective”

2:15 Break

Intentionality in Mind, Brain, and World
2:30 Howard Fields (UCSF): “Origins of Pleasure and Pain”
3:15 Michael Dodds (GTU): “Formal Causality and Human Wholeness: Perspectives on the Mind-Brain Dichotomy”

4:00 Break

4:15 Walter Freeman (UCB) and Eraldo Cacchione (GTU): “Intentionality and Neurodynamics:
Two Key Concepts to Understand Better the Relations Between Brain, Body, World, and Mind”

5:00 Panel discussion

5:30 End

Thursday, January 17

9:15 Introductions

Methods in Religion and Cognitive Science
9:30 John Kihlstrom (UCB): “What Is Cognitive Science? And What Does it Have to Do with Religion?”
10:10 Eve Sweetser (UCB): “Cognitive Linguistics and Sacred Texts”
10:50 Kelly Bulkeley (GTU): “What’s in a Name?”
11:15 Panel discussion

12:00 Lunch

Coping and Coherence: Psychosocial Dimensions of Religious and Spiritual Experience
1:15 David Gortner (GTU) moderated panel: Susan Folkman (UCSF); Doug Oman (UCB); Jeffrey Baerwald (SCU)

3:15 Break

Consciousness and Contemplative Practices
3:45 Kelly Bulkeley moderated panel: Richard Payne (GTU); Tracey Kahan (SCU); Eleanor Rosch (UCB)
5:30 End

Friday, January 18

9:15 Introductions

From Trauma and Distortion to Forgiveness and Healing
9:30 Christine Skarda (formerly UCB): “Perception’s Illusion: The Origin of Suffering”
10:00 Jim Emerson (formerly GTU): “Realized Forgiveness: Prelude to Sound Cognitive Research”
10:30 Mark Graves (GTU) moderated panel: Jim Emerson; Christine Skarda; Emily Lyon (GTU); Mary Walsh (GTU); Alejandro Garcia-Rivera (GTU)

11:30 Break

11:45 Closing discussion

12:30 End

GTU = Graduate Theological Union
UCB = University of California, Berkeley
UCSF = University of California, San Francisco
SCU = Santa Clara University

Room for all the talks will be the “Chapel”, unless otherwise posted.

For more information contact or

Thanks to Cognitive Science program at University of California, Berkeley, for their support.

Directions at:

Map at: