Fingerprints of God by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
The Search for the Science of Spirituality

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Synopsis

From the award-winning NPR religion correspondent comes a fascinating investigation of how science is seeking to answer the question that has puzzled humanity for generations: Can science explain God?

Is spiritual experience real or a delusion? Are there realities that we can experience but not easily measure? Does your consciousness depend entirely on your brain, or does it extend beyond? In Fingerprints of God, award-winning journalist Barbara Bradley Hagerty delves into the discoveries science is making about how faith and spirituality affect us physically and emotionally as it attempts to understand whether the ineffable place beyond this world can be rationally -even scientifically-explained.

Hagerty interviews some of the world's top scientists to describe what their groundbreaking research reveals about our human spiritual experience. From analyses of the brain functions of Buddhist monks and Carmelite nuns, to the possibilities of healing the sick through directed prayer, to what near-death experiences illuminate about the afterlife, Hagerty reaches beyond what we think we know to understand what happens to us when we believe in a higher power.

Paralleling the discoveries of science is Hagerty's own account of her spiritual evolution. Raised a Christian Scientist, she was a scrupulous adherent until a small moment as an adult triggered a revaluation of her beliefs, which in turn led her to a new way of thinking about God and faith.

An insightful examination of what science is learning about how and why we believe, Fingerprints of God is also a moving story of one person's search for a communion with a higher power and what she discovered on that journey.
 

About Barbara Bradley Hagerty

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Barbara Bradley Hagerty is the award-winning religion correspondent for National Public Radio. She is the recipient of the Templeton–Cambridge Journalism Fellowship in Science and Religion, and a Knight Fellowship at Yale Law School. Before joining NPR, she was a reporter at The Christian Science Monitor for eleven years.
 
Published April 2, 2009 by Riverhead Books. 348 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Fingerprints of God

Kirkus Reviews

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This is a serious journalist’s courageous, ambitious investigation into what science says about “a spiritual world…that eludes physical sight and hearing and touch?” Hagerty weaves together interviews with scientists, psychologists, neurologists and dozens of people who share her metaphysical exp...

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Publishers Weekly

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In her first book, National Public Radio correspondent Hagerty acts as a tour guide through the rocky terrain of scientists who study religious experience.

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Examiner

Hagerty explored the “God Gene” that has recently been a hot topic as well as the title of a recent book, the biology of belief (that the brains of spiritual people might actually be different from the brains of non-spiritual people), that certain mystical and transcendental experiences have the ...

May 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Fingerprints of God: The Sear...

The Washington Post

She attends a peyote ceremony in Arizona to find out if there is such a thing as "synthetic spirituality," that is, whether you can replicate spiritual experience by ingesting drugs.

May 31 2009 | Read Full Review of Fingerprints of God: The Sear...

Christian Science Monitor

Using the reporting and explanatory skills of a talented veteran journalist, Barbara Bradley Hagerty has written a compelling account of her quest to answer an age-old question: Is this all there is?

May 19 2009 | Read Full Review of Fingerprints of God: The Sear...

San Francisco Chronicle

"Everything I cared about deeply - my relationship with my parents, my friends at church, my job at the Christian Science Monitor, the metaphysical worldview that steered my thoughts and actions - all this threatened to topple once I admitted that I no longer had the energy or fortitude to believ...

Jun 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Fingerprints of God: The Sear...

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