397: How to Benefit From Religion, Even as a Nonbeliever | David DeSteno

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Dr. David DeSteno has embarked on a project he calls “religio-prospecting.” In other words, he has been looking at the scientific evidence that many ancient religious traditions can confer all sorts of benefits, whether you’re a believer or not. He points out that many secular people practice mindfulness, even if they’re not Buddhists. His question is - what’s the next mindfulness?

David DeSteno is a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, where he directs the Social Emotions Group, and the author of a new book called How God Works: The Science Behind the Benefits of Religion, and is the host of a new podcast on PRX, also called “How God Works.” This episode explores David’s desire to study the benefits of religious practice in a scientific way and the evidence behind such practices as: sitting shiva, gratitude, the Apache sunrise ceremony, and Japanese Shinto rituals around childbirth.

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