The topic of “Neurotheology” has garnered increasing attention in both the academic, religious, scientific, and popular world. However, there have been no attempts at exploring more specifically how Jewish religious thought and experience may intersect with neurotheology. The Rabbi’s Brain engages this groundbreaking area.
Andrew Newberg, M.D. is currently the Associate Director in Charge of Research at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital in Philadelphia. He is also a Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Radiology at Thomas Jefferson University and he is adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. He has an extensive education and experience in medicine, and is Board Certified in both Internal and Nuclear Medicine.
Dr. Newberg has been particularly involved in the study of mystical and religious experiences, a field referred to as “neurotheology”. He has also studied the more general mind/body relationship in both the clinical and research aspects of his career including understanding the physiological correlations of many types of alternative therapies. He has taught students and residents about stress management, spirituality and health, and the neurophysiology of religious experience. He has published over 200 peer reviewed articles and chapters on brain function, brain imaging, and the study of religious and mystical experiences. Newberg is also the author of several best-selling and awarded books relating to these topics. Additional information regarding books and research can be found at www.andrewnewberg.com.
Dr. David Halpern is a first-year resident at the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to attending medical school, David spent two years studying Jewish texts and philosophy at Yeshivat Hakotel in Jerusalem. He earned a B.A. in Psychology at Yeshiva University, where his graduating thesis focused on the intersection of the philosophy of free will as interpreted by Jewish and Christian Theology. David received Rabbinic Ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University and created a capstone project exploring the intersection of medical practice with Jewish medical ethics and law. David has completed rabbinic internships at the Puah Institute and the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot.
David has been particularly interested in the intersection of Judaism and medicine, as well as Jewish medical ethics. As the President of the Jefferson Jewish Student Association, he coordinated and gave monthly talks on Jewish-themed topics, including: Jewish Holidays, the Jewish Patient, and Judaism and Genetics. Most relevant to this book, David worked with Dr. Andrew Newberg, M.D. at the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on a theoretical research project exploring topics related to Jewish Neurotheology.