Profs & Pints DC: The Science of “Spiritual” Experiences

Profs & Pints DC: The Science of “Spiritual” Experiences

Date & Time
January 29, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Event Summary

Profs and Pints DC presents: “The Science of ‘Spiritual’ Experiences,” with David Bryce Yaden, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research and co-author of The Varieties of Spiritual Experiences: Twenty-First Century Research and Perspectives.

Spiritual experiences have occurred in people around the world and throughout history, up to and including the present day. The founders of every major religion described them and philosophers since the ancient Greeks have pondered them. According to recent Gallup polls about 30% of people still report them.

What triggers these events? How are the brain and body affected? How do these brief moments have such lasting effects? Hear such questions talked by Professor David Bryce Yaden, whose research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine focuses on how brief experiences can result in long-term changes to well-being and looks at the effects of psychedelic substances and their treatment potential.

Professor Yaden will start by describing the foundational work on spiritual experiences by William James, a philosopher and psychologist who a century ago famously analyzed accounts of such experiences and raised questions for future scientific study.

He’ll then discuss scientific breakthroughs in the study of spiritual experiences from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and psychopharmacology research. He’ll describe working taking place in laboratories around the world and the methods that scientists use to study these mysterious yet deeply meaningful moments.

Illustrated with examples of spiritual experiences drawn from a diverse set of personal accounts, his talk will provide those in his audience with the basis for a scientifically informed, contemporary understanding of spiritual experiences. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)


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