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This project aims to promote cross-disciplinary integration between Christian theology and cognitive affective neuroscience by investigating (a) how emotions influence our engagement with the divine, (b) how emotions relate human and divine natures, and (c) the role of emotions in human flourishing and the practice of virtues.

To this end, we will offer cross-training scholarships for 20 Latin-American Christian theologians and philosophers of religion from different academic levels to develop research with theological relevance to how emotions inform religion. Scholarship recipients will follow a course of studies that are specially designed for the cross-training of theologians in neuropsychology. The course of studies comprises undergraduate- and graduate-level classes, summer courses, laboratory internships, and meetings with prominent international scholars.

The training will be provided by a joint venture of PUC-Rio’s graduate programs in theology, philosophy, and neuropsychology, an undergraduate course on neuroscience, and INCog, an interdisciplinary research group on neuroscience and cognition. A competition will be held among the scholarship recipients, in which five pilot scientific projects will receive additional funding.

By offering cross-training to theologians at different academic levels, based on direct contact with scientific research, we will advance cross-disciplinary investigations of how emotions inform religion and foster an enduring research community of well-trained science-engaged theologians in Latin-America.

By the end of the project, a website that provides theology-friendly scholarly resources about neuropsychology and networking opportunities for theologians will have been launched, a permanent research group of theologians and neuroscientists will have been created, and 20 Christian theologians and philosophers of religion will have received degrees in Philosophy, Theology or Psychology with academic certificates in neuropsychology.