© 2006

The New Frontier of Religion and Science

Religious Experience, Neuroscience, and the Transcendent

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Part I

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. John Hick
      Pages 3-13
    3. John Hick
      Pages 14-26
    4. John Hick
      Pages 27-38
  3. Part II

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 53-53
    2. John Hick
      Pages 67-80
    3. John Hick
      Pages 81-91
    4. John Hick
      Pages 92-105
    5. John Hick
      Pages 106-111
    6. John Hick
      Pages 112-123
  4. Part III

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-125
    2. John Hick
      Pages 127-136
    3. John Hick
      Pages 137-145
    4. John Hick
      Pages 146-153
    5. John Hick
      Pages 154-161
    6. John Hick
      Pages 162-171
    7. John Hick
      Pages 172-180

About this book


This is the first major response to the challenge of neuroscience to religion. It considers eastern forms of religious experience as well as Christian viewpoints and challenges the idea of a mind identical to, or a by-product of, brain activity. It explores religion as inner experience of the Transcendent, and suggests a modern spirituality.


death epistemological problem experience idea mind mysticism religion religious belief spirituality

About the authors

JOHN HICK is a world-renowned philosopher of religion. He is the author of numerous books, translated into sixteen languages. He has taught in Britain and the United States and lectured in many countries. His Gifford Lectures, An Interpretation of Religion, received the Grawemeyer Award for new religious thinking.

Bibliographic information


'A clear and attractive defence of the importance of religious experience, with reference both to recent work in neuro-science and to a broad range of religious traditions.' - Keith Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity and head of the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford, UK

'In this exciting new book John Hick discusses a number of fundamental and important problems about religion. The topics he focuses on range from traditional problems of religious pluralism and spirituality to recent neuroscientific criticisms of religious experience. Hick, one of the most prominent living theologians and philosophers of religion, makes a series of fascinating responses to the latest scientific challenges to religion, responses that are consistent with the position he has defended for many decades. I would recommend the book to anyone who is interested in religion, science and spirituality.' - Yujin Nagasawa, Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham, UK

'In this sharply argued and bracing book, John Hick considers the range of human religious experience and tries to make sense of it, rejecting in particular attempts based on neuroscience to debunk it. His writing is assured, well-informed, and provocative. This book is certain to generate lively debate.' - Professor Adrian Moore, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford

'This is a beautifully written book. Hick introduces not only key issues in neuroscience clearly and in an accessible way, but also offers a convincing critique of the naturalistic presuppositions of its practitioners. But this book is about more than defending religion against the onslaught of scientific humanism: it also seeks to expand his own theory of religion. In a time when the differences between religions seems more acute and threatening than ever, Hick advances a pluralistic perspective that seeks to bring together the wisdom of the world's faiths through an emphasis on the role of spiritual practice. An optimistic, provocative and profound book.' - Beverley Clack, Reader in Philosophy of Religion, Oxford Brookes University, UK

'[A] major contribution to the debate on religion...' - David Hay, The Tablet

'The debate between natural sciences and religion has sharply increased. The renowned theologian and religious philosopher John Hick meets this challenge. He questions the human preconditions of recognition in view of an increasing biologistic materialism, which regards religion as mere chemical and electrical interactions of the brain.' - Reinhard Kirste, Interrligiose Arbeitsstelle

'The New Frontier, however, has a freshness about it. It is a small book that both breaks new ground and offers to those familiar with Hick's corpus a summary the current state of his remarkable life-work...a readily accessible book...' - Michael A. Chester Religious Studies

' is provocative and deeply stimulating...Hick has provided an important and accessible contribution to the science-theology debate which will broaden outlooks and challenge assumptions.' - Mark Harris, Oriel College

'...provides a fascinating overview of the whole of Hick's religious and philosophical convictions and the way his thinking has broadened and developed through a life-time of reading and debating.' - Paul Badham, Theology