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Expanding Spiritual Knowledge Through Science: Chicago Multidisciplinary Research Network

Project Leader(s)

John Cacioppo
Tiffany & Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor
Director, Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience
University of Chicago

University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)

These grants established an interdisciplinary network of world class scientists and scholars committed to developing a new scientific study of sociality and spirituality from the perspective of contemporary cognitive and social neuroscience. The Network pursues specific research studies and collaborations, enriched by theology and philosophy, to determine the biological, behavioral, and health effects of social and spiritual connection on human flourishing. Early research findings have been disseminated through scientific presentations, publications, and the book, Invisible Forces and Powerful Beliefs.

Grant Amount:
Start Date:
March 2005
End Date:
February 2012
Grant ID:
11553, 11555
Other Participants

Gary G. Berntson
Departments of Psychology, Psychiatry & Pediatrics
Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)

Dorret Boomsma, Head of Department
Department of Biological Psychology
Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research
Free University (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Mary E. Brandon, Associate Dean
Division of the Social Sciences
University of Chicago

Joshua Correll
Department of Psychology
University of Chicago

Farr Curlin
MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics
Department of Medicine, Division of Biological Sciences
University of Chicago

Jean Decety, Irving B. Harris Professor
Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry
Co-Director, Brain Research Imaging Center (BRIC)
University of Chicago

Nicholas Epley, John Templeton Keller Professor of Behavioral Sciences and John E. Jeuck Faculty Fellow
Booth School of Business
University of Chicago

W. Clark Gilpin, Margaret E. Burton Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Christianity and Theology
Divinity School
University of Chicago

Louise Hawkley, Senior Research Scientist
Associate Director, Social Neuroscience Laboratory
University of Chicago

Jonathan Lear, John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor
The Committee on Social Thought
University of Chicago

Tanya Luhrmann
Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology
Stanford University (Stanford, California)

Christopher Masi
Department of Medicine, Division of Biological Sciences
University of Chicago

Howard Nusbaum
Department of Psychology
University of Chicago

William Schweiker
,  Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics and Director of the Martin Marty Center
The Divinity School
University of Chicago

Gün Semin
Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences
Free University (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Steven Small
, Chair
Department of Neurology
University of California-Irvine  (Irvine, CA)

Kathryn Tanner
Divinity School
Yale University (New Haven, CT)

Ronald Thisted
Departments of Statistics, Health Studies, Anesthesia & Critical Care
The Committee on Clinical Pharmacology
University of Chicago

Penny Visser
Department of Psychology
University of Chicago

Linda Waite
, Lucy Flower Professor in Urban Sociology
Co-Director, MD/PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Aging
University of Chicago

Grantee Website

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