Rudi Affolter and Gwen Tighe have both experienced strong religious visions. He is an atheist than a Christian. He thought he had died, she thought she had given birth to Jesus. Both have temporal lobe epilepsy.
Like other forms of epilepsy, the disease assembly, but is also associated with religious hallucinations. Research on why people like Rudi and Gwen saw what they did has opened up a whole field of brain science: neurotheology.
The connection between the temporal lobes of the brain and religious feeling has led one Canadian scientist to try to stimulate them. (They are close to their ears.) 80% of Dr. Michael Persinger experimental subjects report that an artificial magnetic field concentrated in the areas of the brain that gives them a feeling of not being alone. Some describe it as a religious feeling.
His work raises the prospect that we are programmed to believe in God, that faith is a human mental ability have been developed or given. And temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) could help unravel the mystery.