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Extended Audio Sample Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality Audiobook, by Barbara Bradley Hagerty Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (353 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Bradley Hagerty Narrator: Cassandra Campbell Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9781400182107
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Is spiritual experience real or a delusion? Are there realities that we can experience but not easily measure? Does your consciousness depend entirely on your brain, or does it extend beyond? In Fingerprints of God, award-winning journalist Barbara Bradley Hagerty delves into the discoveries science is making about how faith and spirituality affect us physically and emotionally as it attempts to understand whether the ineffable place beyond this world can be rationally-even scientifically-explained. Hagerty interviews some of the world's top scientists to describe what their groundbreaking research reveals about our human spiritual experience. From analyses of the brain functions of Buddhist monks and Carmelite nuns, to the possibilities of healing the sick through directed prayer, to what near-death experiences illuminate about the afterlife, Hagerty reaches beyond what we think we know to understand what happens to us when we believe in a higher power. Paralleling the discoveries of science is Hagerty's own account of her spiritual evolution. Raised a Christian Scientist, she was a scrupulous adherent until a small moment as an adult triggered a reevaluation of her beliefs, which in turn led her to a new way of thinking about God and faith. An insightful examination of what science is learning about how and why we believe, Fingerprints of God is also a moving story of one person's search for a communion with a higher power and what she discovered on that journey. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Hagerty's engaging book poses a provocative challenge to anyone who has ever wondered where faith comes from, and what it can do for---and to---us. The Washington Post

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristin | 2/16/2014

    " Good book, a little bit chewy, but informative. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandra | 2/5/2014

    " This book was fascinating about the connections of spiritual experiences and how they effect the brain. I didn't finish it, but I would like to sometime. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan Robertson | 1/31/2014

    " I heard the author speak. She was better in person. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alesia | 1/30/2014

    " I had a mixed reaction to this book. The writing style seemed superficial and simplistic. More a narrative than a synthesis. It did highlight some interesting research into the neuroscience of spirituality. Maybe some of my ambivalence comes from the discomfort of not wanting to reduce spiritual experience to the material. Maybe it shouldn't be scientifically explained. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dennis Weeks | 1/29/2014

    " Did you ever wonder why the notion of God has been a central element in the culture of zillions of people from different epochs across the globe. Well, Hagarty has some interesting answers or at least she presents some interesting possibilities. Most interesting might be her discussions of how we seem to be wired for belief in something bigger than the world we experience. Hagarty's combination of recent scientific research with stories that flesh out the data makes for an absorbing book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret | 1/29/2014

    " This was compelling, but another weird example of radio writers not being able to write for print. The chapters read as somewhat longer radio stories, too disconnected from one another to feel consistent. Still, a smart look at really interesting research. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamlynem | 1/23/2014

    " My friend lent this to me on cd. While I found her anecdotal descriptions of people's mystical/religious experiences tiring, I sort of understand there's really no other way to write this kind of book without these stories. I enjoyed when she talked to the author who wrote _The God Gene_ and other scientists. I also thought it was interesting to learn about the people who were conducting scientific research in this area (like on out of body experiences, etc). She touched on varied and interesting subjects; from local mind and to the idea that people who report visions or spiritual epiphanies really just might be having a temporal lobe seizures. I do agree with other critics that she was not that impartial in writing this book and I think that is the book's major negative aspect. She was definitely looking for facts to back up her belief in a god that takes all comers and that is her essential conclusion. Still, an interesting read and probably essential for people who are interested in the intersection of religion and science in the United States. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 1/14/2014

    " I heard this author interviewed on NPR and couldn't wait to read her book. She is a former NPR journalist, who, after experiencing something mystical and life-changing, sets out to explore what is behind the very common and similar mystical/spiritual experiences of people from many different backgrounds, cultures, religions and perspectives. This is well researched and documented and seems like a very fair and unbiased exploration of the mystical and how science can or cannot explain them-- and ultimately, where that leaves people and their faith/beliefs. I have long been alternately skeptical and intrigued by such stories so this book is a welcome resource for further discussion. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gillian | 1/14/2014

    " I think I was expecting too much from this author... so I was disappointed, I know many others who enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Polly | 1/6/2014

    " An interesting look at the intersection between science and spirituality; it became irritating when Hagerty tried to find scientific proof that God does or doesn't exist. To use Karen Armstrong's metaphor, that's like trying to eat soup with a fork. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/1/2014

    " This was a good introduction to the science that is being done relating the brain and spiritual experiences. I would have liked more indepth discussions of some topics but overall, I enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 10/3/2013

    " A father's day gift from my wonderful daughter "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 5/3/2013

    " Really enjoying it so far -- trying to read slowly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jraedupree | 11/13/2012

    " With the mind of a fine journalist and science writer and the eye of an artist, Barbara Bradley Hagerty takes you through her own journey toward a better understanding of how modern science can exist in harmony with religious belief. I wish there were more books like this out there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George | 8/15/2012

    " Just started this one, and cannot stop. Hargerty is the religion reporter for NPR. A ton of stuff here that speaks to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer Louden | 6/12/2012

    " I love the stories, love the writing, but in the end, all Barbara can really say is you can have faith if you want it - science can't prove or disprove God yet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 12/5/2011

    " REALLY interesting. Gives you a lot to think about. I love these books about brains. What an amazing contraption! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 elizabeth george | 11/22/2011

    " A very hard read with very interesting information on brain research. If you have lots of extra time on your hands... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 7/6/2011

    " The author, a reporter by trade and a Christian Scientist in her early life, digs into the complex relationship between science and spirituality. Beautiful memoir filled with research and the experiences of others. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 12/6/2010

    " Interesting, challenging. Particularly enjoyed her honesty about her own spiritual life and expereinces; she presents both sides of the argument. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wil | 9/25/2010

    " There is an increasing number of phenomenon, such as spontaneous mystical experiences, certain temporal lobe seizures, meditation, near death experiences and experiments showing the connection of couples over a distance that are challenging the materialistic paradigm. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 9/6/2010

    " I love the stories, love the writing, but in the end, all Barbara can really say is you can have faith if you want it - science can't prove or disprove God yet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 elizabeth | 8/24/2010

    " A very hard read with very interesting information on brain research. If you have lots of extra time on your hands... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 8/24/2010

    " Not too scientific a read for a non-science person. Thoughtful, interesting, and her conclusion is especially beautifully written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 7/25/2010

    " A father's day gift from my wonderful daughter "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 7/5/2010

    " Easy read looking at science and spiritual experience. Left me with some questions. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gillian | 4/16/2010

    " I think I was expecting too much from this author... so I was disappointed, I know many others who enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kyle | 2/22/2010

    " So far this book has made me think. When I began reading it I figured it would be very similar to The Reason for God, but instead Barbara takes a more scientific and psychological approach. It's very enlightening. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 2/20/2010

    " I heard the author speak. She was better in person. "

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About the Author
Barbara Bradley Hagerty is the author of the New York Times-bestselling Fingerprints of God is also an award-winning journalist who spent nearly 20 years as a correspondent for NPR. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Vogue, and The Christian Science Monitor. She has received the Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship in Science and Religion, and a Knight Fellowship at Yale Law School. She lives with her husband in Washington, D.C.
About the Narrator

Cassandra Campbell, Audie Award–nominated narrator and winner of several Earphones Awards, has performed in regional theaters across the country and in several off-Broadway shows at the Public Theater and the Mint Theater. In addition to narrating audiobooks, acting, and directing, she is a commercial and documentary voice-over artist.