The 100th anniversary of William James' classic work,
The Varieties of Religious Experience, provides an historic
waypoint for us to reconsider the scientific study of religious
and spiritual phenomena. Anthropology, sociology, psychology,
psychiatry, pharmacology, neurology, biology, neuroscience, religious
studies, and cognate fields overlap in an interdisciplinary study
of diverse and sometimes ambivalent religious phenomena. William
James reminds us that "the varieties of religious experiences"
should be "judged by their fruits, not by their roots."
What are the "fruits of the spirit" as witnessed in numerous
and remarkable accounts of spiritual transformation? How might we
better understand these perennial and peculiar transformations in
human thought and behavior?
Institute on Religion and Science is pleased to announce a $3.3
million research program on the nature of spiritual transformation.
The Spiritual Transformation Scientific
Research Program includes:
- Submission of letters of intent
from prospective principal investigators by June 1, 2002;
- An invitation-only research
conference October 5-7, 2002 designed for sixty prospective
principal investigators to address issues pertaining to literature
review, methodology, research design, peer review processes, and
the establishment of a network of active investigators;
- Submission of completed
proposals by January 6, 2003 and selection of at least ten fully funded projects and ten projects
with matching funds to be funded by March 1, 2003, with each project to receive between
$70,000 and $150,000 over a two-year period to conduct research on the nature of spiritual transformation;
- A public symposium in April 2006 to feature some of the research
- Ongoing networking and collaboration to develop and sustain on-going scientific
studies of diverse spiritual and religious phenomena.
Click here for the Purpose of the program.