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The Science of Awe

The Science of Awe

The emotion of awe can be a bridge between science and faith. Just as worship can bring us to our knees, so can our experience of the natural world that science reveals to us. In recent years, awe has become a subject of scientific study and psychologists are beginning to understand the impact it has on us.

Beautiful Things

Beautiful Things

But it is important to take a break from operating solely in the “truth sphere.” Goodness and beauty are two other realms that are essential to humans (think ethics and aesthetics), and both tell us something important about God (the very essence of goodness and beauty). And in the case of beauty, I think we have a powerful point of connection between faith and science.

WOW

WOW

Conceptual studies of awe note that it has its roots in “fear and dread, particularly toward a divine being.” But the common understanding of awe today is no longer fear of God but most often that feeling we get in an encounter with nature. The feeling can be both positive (sunsets) or negative (tornadoes)—or it can even be tinged with fear (standing at the edge of Niagara Falls)… So what does the experience of awe do to us (or for us)?