Document Type : Original Article


Master of Philosophy of Religion, Allameh Tabatabai University


The nature and possible neural correlations of religious experience is one of the latest fields of study in the neurological studies. Neuroscientists in this field are attempting to achieve exact understanding of the nature of religious experience as a cognitive function through the study of mediating structures which lead to religious experiences emergence. In This article considering neurological studies of religious experience, two prevailing approaches in this field of study are discussed. In the first approach, religious experience is considered as malfunction of neural structures, and in the second one it is the result of natural process of neural structures of brain. While reviewing neurological studies that have done in these approaches, we analyze and criticize the neurological study of religious experience under five titles, the aim and domain of the study, the conceptual vastness of religious experience, first-person orientation of religious experience, the ontological distinction, and the complexity of performance and neural structure of brain. It seems that neurological study of religious experience is faced with numerous problems and limitations