Opinion | Pop Culture

This Is Your Brain on Evangelicalism

NPR reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty's Princeton lecture last week revealed a woman highly ambivalent about evangelical spirituality.

In 1995, NPR religion reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty was interviewing members of Saddleback Church for a Los Angeles Times Magazine article on why some churches grow and others don't. She talked with a woman named Kathy Younge about her spiritual journey. Younge was suffering from recurrent melanoma, but she didn't believe God was trying to kill her; she believed he was giving her a transcendent purpose. As Hagerty and Younge were talking, the journalist says, the air grew thick, moist, and warm, as if someone was breathing on them. She felt enveloped in a circle of light.

This is the story Hagerty opened with at a Princeton University Center for the Study of Religion lecture last week. She was there to discuss her most recent book, Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality (which CT magazine reviewed this May). I was surprised to hear her validate evangelical faith so openly given that, as a regular attendee of the center's lectures, I'm accustomed to hearing that ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.
October

Support our work

Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Read These Next

close
hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? to continue reading.