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Public Speaking

The Spiritual Brain
July 2017
Sunstone Symposium
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT USA
Dr. Ferguson leads the audience through his original general model of spiritual minds. He integrates empirical methods with questions from philosophy and theology in order to guide the audience through an exploration of spirituality at the dawn of human neuroscience.

Decomposing God
October 2016
Toronto Centre Place, Invited Talk
Toronto, ON Canada
Myth meets math in an exploration of the principal components for cultural constructs of divinity and divine nature. Drawing on spirituality, theology, engineering, and mathematics, concepts are presented in terms that are generalizable across religious or nonreligious notions of virtue ethics and human flourishing.

This Is Your Brain On God
September 2016
TEDxSaltLakeCity Talk

Kingsbury Hall, University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT USA

Dr. Ferguson leads the TEDxSaltLakeCity audience through a guided tour of brain activity measured in people of faith during peak religious experiences. Using fMRI and social cognitive testing, the relationships between religious belief, cognition, and brain function surprised both believers and skeptics alike.

A Seer Is Greater Than A Prophet: Neuroscience, Psychology, and Theology in Conversation
July 2016
Sunstone Symposium 
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT USA
In this presentation, Dr. Ferguson explains the neurophysiology of basic meditative techniques. He addresses variations in "ways of knowing" (i.e., epistemology) that stem from subjective experience, and how these relate to theological propositions. Participants are invited to reimagine their own potential for insight and personal wisdom. Workshop attendees have the opportunity for light experiential guided meditation, and are encouraged to consider integrating contemplative and reflective practices into their lifestyle routine.

Mysticism as Political Resistance
July 2016
Salon Lake City, Charter Speaker

The New Lion House
Salt Lake City, UT USA
What are ways that religious psychology can facilitate social change? Can we undermine interlocking systems of religious and political oppression by cultivating spiritualities that are inclusive, generous, and prosocial? 

Becoming A Visionary People
March 2016
Community of Christ Toronto Congregation

Invited sermon
Toronto, ON Canada
What do sacred texts mean when they refer to visionary states? Are the revelations allegedly gleaned from these altered states legitimately insightful, or does their content represent delusional thought? Can we cultivate communities that support one another in discerning illusion from reality, thus leaving Plato's allegorical cave?

Can Spirituality be Scientific?
March 2016
Toronto Centre Place

Adult Continuing Education Series
Toronto, ON Canada
A neurophilosophically revisionist approach to understanding popular spiritual practices that are typically treated with eliminativist dismissal by neuroscience. An overview of the anatomy of the peripheral and central nervous systems culminates in an explorative discussion about whether the placebo effect can be intentionally recruited for self-soothing, and to trigger, at will, the consequent physical benefits of placebo-sensitive systems throughout the brain and body.

Testimony in favor of banning conversion therapy
February 2016 
New Hampshire State Legislature

Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs
Concord, NH USA

Ending Conversion Therapy
October 2015
Inclusive Families Conference

University of Utah School of Social Work
Salt Lake City, UT USA

Neuroscience of Spirituality
October 2015
Kirtland Sunstone Symposium

Keynote address
Kirtland, OH USA

The Mormon Mind
July 2015
Sunstone Symposium

University of Utah
Keynote address
Salt Lake City, UT USA

The Religious Brain Project
2014 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association
Salt Lake City, UT USA

Toward a Science of Spirituality
2012 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association
Salt Lake City, UT USA

Trinitarian Archetypes: a Transhumanist Mythos
2010 Transhumanism & Spirituality Conference at the University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT USA

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