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Short Course 32, The Believing Brain: Neuroscience, Psychology and Faith

The Møller Centre: Nov 27-29, 2015

Deadline for applications: November 17, 2015
Deadline for Bursary applications: October 2, 2015

Aim of Course

This weekend course is for neuroscientists, cognitive scientists and psychologists, and will also appeal to philosophers and theologians. It aims to:

·      Engage with the latest research on science and religion,

·      Explore fundamental questions of human existence that arise at the intersection of neuroscience, psychology and religious belief,

·      Examine the philosophical, theological and ethical implications of scientific ideas.


Excitingly this course is now fully booked.

Speakers (listed in alphabetical order) and topics

See multimedia items for this course or click on specific talk title in the course schedule to see available resources for that talk.

Click on a speaker's name to obtain brief biographical details.


The Møller Centre at Churchill College is a dedicated residential management training and conference centre located within the historic city of Cambridge.
The Møller Centre offers en-suite bedrooms with iconic Danish Hans J. Wegner furniture; the bedrooms are comfortable, clean and designed so that delegates have everything they need during their stay. All bedrooms are air-conditioned, and have beautiful views of gardens or the impressive grounds of Churchill College. The Centre also boasts a bar, restaurant, roof terrace, gym and  free car parking on-site.

For further information please visit

Course Schedule

Friday November 27
4.00 pmRegistration at Moller Centre
5.30 pmProf Irene Tracey: Plenary: Imaging Belief States in Pain and Religion (Murrary Edwards College)
6.15 pmQuestions and Discussion
6.45 pmDrinks Reception (Murray Edwards College)
7.30 pmDinner
8.30 pmResponses to Plenary 1
9.30 pmBar and Getting to Know You
Saturday November 28
8.00 amBreakfast
9.00 amIntroduction
9.15 amProf Paul Fletcher: Plenary: Disbelief, delusions and hallucinations
10.00 amQuestions and Discussion
10.30 amCoffee Break
11.00 amDr Harvey T. McMahon FRS: Presentation: Mind-brain and freewill
11.20 amDr Ryan McKay: Presentation: Delusions, positive illusions, and jump to conclusions
11.40 amDr Daniel De Haan: Presentation: Ascribing beliefs to brains
12.15 pmQuestions and Discussion
1.00 pmLunch
2.15 pmRevd Dr Joanna Collicutt: Plenary: Damaged brain, wounded soul?
3.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
3.30 pmTea Break
4.00 pmProf Chris Cook: Plenary: The significance of hearing voices
4.45 pmQuestions and Discussion
6.00 pmFree time
7.00 pmDinner
8.30 pmProf. Raymond Tallis: Free will: Theory versus experience
9.30 pmBar and more Discussion
Sunday November 29
8.00 amBreakfast
9.00 amProf. Julian Hughes: Plenary: Faith in dementia: Authenticiy and neuroscience
9.45 amQuestions and Discussion
10.15 amCoffee Break
10.45 amRevd Prof. Alasdair Coles: Presentation: Parkinson's disease and faith
11.10 amDr Duncan Astle: Presentation: Faith and the developing brain
11.35 amDr Mike Thompson: Presentation: The 'soul' in the New Testament
12.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
1.00 pmLunch
2.00 pmDr Liz Gulliford: Plenary: Forgiveness, gratitude & hope in psychology & theology
2.50 pmQuestions and Discussion
3.30 pmTea and Depart