Neuroscience and Christian Formation

Edited by:
Mark A. Maddix, Point Loma Nazarene University
Dean G. Blevins, Nazarene Theological Seminary

Published 2016

Why a text on neuroscience and Christian formation? Simply put, we need one that represents the range of possible intersections for today and into the future. In recent years, neuroscience’s various fields of study have influenced our understanding of the person, memory, learning, development, communal interaction, and the practice of education.

The book serves as an introductory textbook for Christian education/formation professors to use in Christian education or Christian formation courses at the College or Seminary level. The book is designed to provide an overview of how current research in neuroscience is impacting how we view Christian education and formation with particular attention given to faith formation, teaching, development, and worship The first four chapters discuss how neuroscience broadly influences Christian education and formation. Chapters five through eight explore how neuroscience informs specific formational practices, from personal meditation, to intercultural encounter, to congregational formation and worship. The last four chapters explore various aspects of neuroscience along developmental lines, The book also moves from conceptual overviews to more empirical studies late in the text. Each chapter of this book can also be read and discussed individually. Each author has provided both discussion topics, suggestions for future reading within neuroscience, and discussion questions at the end of the chapter.

Preface, Dean G. Blevins and Mark A. Maddix. A Primer on Neuroscience, Laura Barwegen. Technology and the Brain, Dean Blevins. How Neuroscience Informs Teaching, Glena Andrews. Neuroscience and Christian Formation, Mark A. Maddix. Neuroplasticity and Spiritual Formation: Changing Brain Structure and Core Beliefs Through Mindfulness and Scripture Meditation/Reflection, Karen Choi. We Were Made for This: Reflections on the Mirror Neuron System and Intercultural Christian Education, Timothy Paul Westbrook. Christian Education as Embodied and Embedded Virtue Formation, Brad Strawn and Warren Brown. Neuroscience and Christian Worship: Practices That Change the Brain, Dean Blevins. Making Connections: Neurobiology and Developmental Theory, Theresa A. O’Keefe. Neurological Development in Early Young Adults and Their Implications for Christian Higher Education, James R. Estep and John Trentham. Changing Behavior and Renewing the Brain: Neuroscience and Spirituality, Mark. A. Maddix and Glena Andrews. Equipping Minds for Christian Education or Learning From Neuroscience for Christian Educators, Carol T. Brown.

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