IBCSR Awarded Major Research Grant

The Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion (IBCSR) has been awarded a $1.7 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation (www.templeton.org ) to investigate the neurological basis of religious cognition. The principle investigators, Dr. Patrick McNamara and Dr. Wesley Wildman, have extensive experience researching the neuroscience of religious experience. This new project will further that research and help launch to the new scientific field of the cognitive neuroscience of religion.

In partnership with the Boston VA Medical Center, the project will assess various forms of religious cognition in an array of healthy and clinical populations in order to identify the brain regions most consistently involved in religious ideas, prayers, mediations and reflections. These new insights will also help clinical populations use their personal religious resources to cope with their illness.

Drs. McNamara and Wildman have compiled a team of international scholars, neuroscientists, and religion scholars to assist in the project. These  researchers are being trained in the latest scientific methods for studying religious ideas and practices.

More information about their findings will be forthcoming as the research progresses. 



To learn more about this project, please contact:


Dr. Patrick McNamara, Principle Investigator

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Office: (857)-364-4405