Psychology professor explores how science can learn from religion

David DeSteno wants to understand how God––or at least religion––works.

The work of DeSteno, a psychology professor at Northeastern University, focuses on understanding the science behind religious practices and how they can benefit our wellbeing. Meditation has its roots in almost every major form of religion, but has since been adopted more widely for its proven health benefits. Through his podcast, “How God Works,” and his book of the same name, DeSteno brings together scientists and spiritual leaders to find other ways that bridging the divide between science and religion can make a difference in our lives.

“The whole goal behind this podcast is to stop people debating about whether or not God exists,” DeSteno says. “You have fundamentalists on one side and new atheists on the other side. It’s not a question science can answer … so let’s not argue about it. Let’s come together and see what wisdom is in these practices that we can use to help people live better lives.”

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Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

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