Spiritual Awakenings International

Conference 2024

“Spiritual Awakening: The Dawn of Expanded Consciousness”

Supporting STE Experiencers – Panel

Saturday, June 8, 2024 – 6:30 PM EDT

Alexander Moreira-Almeida, MD, PhD

Alexander Moreira-Almeida, MD, PhD


Science of Life After Death. Dr. Moreira-Almeida will examines the best available empirical evidence regarding one of the most challenging and pervasive questions throughout ages, cultures, and religions: the survival of human consciousness after death. It begins with a contextual overview of belief in personal survival and refutes misguided historical and epistemological arguments against the notion of survival after death (e.g., irrational, purely religious, impossible to be addressed by science, that has been proved false by neuroscience). The talk provides an overview of the scientific evidence regarding the survival of human consciousness after death, focusing on studies on mediumship, near-death and out-of-body experiences, and reincarnation. It also discusses what constitutes empirical evidence for survival after death and the main explanatory hypotheses alternative to survival after death. The chief cultural barriers to a fair examination of the available evidence for survival will also be addressed.

Alexander Moreira-Almeida, MD, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry, Founder and Director of the Research Center in Spirituality and Health, School of Medicine, Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF), Brazil. Former chair of the Sections on Spirituality and Psychiatry of the World and the Brazilian Psychiatric Associations. He obtained a MD at UFJF, psychiatry residency and PhD in Health Sciences at University of São Paulo, Brazil. Formerly a postdoctoral fellow in religion and health at Duke University. More than 190 academic papers that received more than 8,200 citations. More than 550 presentations at academic meetings, including 151 abroad in 18 countries. More than 400 interviews to lay media. Coordination of TV NUPES, a YouTube channel on science, health and spirituality with more than 300 videos and 1,1 mi views in 100 countries. Editor of the book “Spirituality and Mental Health Across Cultures” (Oxford Univ Press, 2021) and coauthor of “Science of Life After Death” (Springer, 2022).

Dr. Francis Lu MD

Francis G. Lu, MD


Where Do Religion and Spirituality Appear in the DSM-5-TR? This presentation will provide a comprehensive review of where “Religion” and “Spirituality” appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, Text Revision published by the American Psychiatric Association in March, 2022. While the diagnostic criteria were mostly unchanged, two-thirds of the text was revised from the 2013 version. Specific areas to be reviewed include the impact of racism and discrimination as a social determinant of mental health, “Culture-Related Diagnostic Issues” in the narrative descriptions of some disorders, the Z codes Religious or Spiritual Problem and Target of (Perceived) Adverse Discrimination and Persecution, the Outline for Cultural Formulation, and the Cultural Formulation Interview including the Supplementary Module on Religious, Spiritual, and Moral Traditions.

Francis G. Lu, MD, DLFAPA, is the Luke & Grace Kim Professor in Cultural Psychiatry, Emeritus, at UC, Davis. As a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Dr. Lu has contributed to the areas of cultural psychiatry including the interface with religion/spirituality, psychiatric education, diversity/inclusion, health equity, and psychiatry/film. In 2020, the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2021, the American College of Psychiatrists awarded him its Distinguished Service Award. He was 1 of 3 co-authors of a successful proposal for including the diagnostic category of Religious or Spiritual Problem in the DSM-IV Other Conditions that May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention in to help with differential diagnosis of distressing experiences involving religion or spirituality. He has served on the APA Caucus on Religion, Spirituality, and Psychiatry Executive Committee since 2015.



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