Chapter 30. Neuro-Theology: Demasqué of Religions

  1. Peter J. Verhagen Psychiatrist Theologian2,
  2. Herman M. Van Praag Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry3,
  3. Juan J. López-Ibor Jr Professor of Psychiatry4,
  4. John L Cox Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry5 and
  5. Driss Moussaoui Professor of Psychiatry6
  1. Dick F. Swaab Professor and
  2. Wilma T. P. Verweij Scientific Secretary

Published Online: 13 NOV 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470682203.ch30

Religion and Psychiatry: Beyond Boundaries

Religion and Psychiatry: Beyond Boundaries

How to Cite

Swaab, D. F. and Verweij, W. T. P. (2010) Neuro-Theology: Demasqué of Religions, in Religion and Psychiatry: Beyond Boundaries (eds P. J. Verhagen, H. M. Van Praag, J. J. López-Ibor, J. L. Cox and D. Moussaoui), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470682203.ch30

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Meerkanten GGZ, Harderwijk, The Netherlands

  2. 3

    University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands

  3. 4

    Complutense University, Madrid, Spain

  4. 5

    University of Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

  5. 6

    Ibn Rushd University, Casablanca, Morocco

Author Information

  1. The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 NOV 2009
  2. Published Print: 8 JAN 2010

Book Series:

  1. World Psychiatric Association Evidence and Experience in Psychiatry Series

Book Series Editors:

  1. Helen Herrman

Series Editor Information

  1. WPA Secretary for Publications, University of Melbourne, Australia

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470694718

Online ISBN: 9780470682203



  • neuro-theology - Demasque of religions;
  • better world without religion;
  • Oxford World Christian Encyclopedia;
  • evolutionary benefits of religion - religion serving to unite members of a group;
  • spirituality, religion and psychopathology;
  • DSM IV - under ‘Other conditions that might be a focus of clinical attention’;
  • spirituality as neurological basis for religion - visualized as brain activity;
  • temporal lobe epilepsy and religious delusions - peak experiences;
  • religious delusions in psychiatric disorders;
  • near death experiences - no ‘proof’ of an afterlife


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • A Few Figures

  • A Better World without Religion?

  • The Evolutionary Benefits of Religion

  • Spirituality, Religion and Psychopathology

  • Spirituality as Neurological Basis for Religion

  • Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and Religious Delusions: Peak Experiences

  • Religious Delusions in Psychiatric Disorders

  • Near Death Experiences: No ‘Proof’of an Afterlife

  • Where is the Proof?

  • Praying for Someone Else: A Placebo for Oneself

  • Conclusions

  • References