Nov 27-29, 2015

The Moller Centre

Aim of Course

This weekend course is for neuroscientists, cognitive scientists and psychologists, and will also appeal to philosophers and theologians. It aims to:

  • Engage with the latest research on science and religion,
  • Explore fundamental questions of human existence that arise at the intersection of neuroscience, psychology and religious belief,
  • Examine the philosophical, theological and ethical implications of scientific ideas.

Speakers (listed in alphabetical order) and topics

See multimedia items for this course.

  • Dr Duncan Astle : Faith and the developing brain
  • Revd Prof. Alasdair Coles : Neurodegenerative disease and religious experience
  • Revd Dr Joanna Collicutt : Psychology, religion and spirituality
  • Prof Chris Cook : The significance of hearing voices
  • Dr Daniel De Haan : Neuroscience and philosophy
  • Prof Paul Fletcher : Disbelief, Delusions and Hallucinations
  • Julian Hughes : Dementia, faith and neuroscience
  • Dr Harvey T. McMahon FRS : Mind-brain and freewill
  • Raymond Tallis : Philosophy and free will
  • Prof Irene Tracey : Brain imaging and the placebo effect


The Møller Centre at Churchill College is a dedicated residential management training and conference centre located within the historic city of Cambridge.
The Møller Centre offers en-suite bedrooms with iconic Danish Hans J. Wegner furniture; the bedrooms are comfortable, clean and designed so that delegates have everything they need during their stay. All bedrooms are air-conditioned, and have beautiful views of gardens or the impressive grounds of Churchill College. The Centre also boasts a bar, restaurant, roof terrace, gym and  free car parking on-site.

For further information please visit

Course Schedule

Friday November 27
4.00 pm Registration at Moller Centre
5.30 pm Prof Irene Tracey: Plenary: Imaging Belief States in Pain and Religion (Murrary Edwards College)
6.15 pm Questions and Discussion
6.45 pm Drinks Reception (Murray Edwards College)
7.30 pm Dinner
8.30 pm Responses to Plenary 1
9.30 pm Bar and Getting to Know You

Saturday November 28

8.00 am Breakfast
9.00 am Introduction
9.15 am Prof Paul Fletcher: Plenary: Disbelief, delusions and hallucinations
10.00 am Questions and Discussion
10.30 am Coffee Break
11.00 am Dr Harvey T. McMahon FRS: Presentation: Mind-brain and freewill
11.20 am Dr Ryan McKay: Presentation: Delusions, positive illusions, and jump to conclusions
11.40 am Dr Daniel De Haan: Presentation: Ascribing beliefs to brains
12.15 pm Questions and Discussion
1.00 pm Lunch
2.15 pm Revd Dr Joanna Collicutt: Plenary: Damaged brain, wounded soul?
3.00 pm Questions and Discussion
3.30 pm Tea Break
4.00 pm Prof Chris Cook: Plenary: The significance of hearing voices
4.45 pm Questions and Discussion
6.00 pm Free time
7.00 pm Dinner
8.30 pm Prof. Raymond Tallis: Free will: Theory versus experience
9.30 pm Bar and more Discussion

Sunday November 29

8.00 am Breakfast
9.00 am Prof. Julian Hughes: Plenary: Faith in dementia: Authenticiy and neuroscience
9.45 am Questions and Discussion
10.15 am Coffee Break
10.45 am Revd Prof. Alasdair Coles: Presentation: Parkinson’s disease and faith
11.10 am Dr Duncan Astle: Presentation: Faith and the developing brain
11.35 am Dr Mike Thompson: Presentation: The ‘soul’ in the New Testament
12.00 pm Questions and Discussion
1.00 pm Lunch
2.00 pm Dr Liz Gulliford: Plenary: Forgiveness, gratitude & hope in psychology & theology
2.50 pm Questions and Discussion
3.30 pm Tea and Depart