This fascinating and hugely readable series of lectures is an excellent introduction to J.Z. Young as well as a work which manages to synthesise insights from neurology, psychology and sociology of religion. With a title which includes the terms ‘program’ one might assume a lazy brain/computer analogy. However, Young uses the term ‘program’ to denote something like a plan for action arguing that the human brain is a highly organised structure that is both constantly thinking and is also capable of being highly selective in making what appear to be the best choices from available information to ensure the continuation of life. All of these disparate processes – evaluation, scanning, analysis and so on are integrated which allows for an understanding of the brain as functioning as a whole. The lectures proceed through analysis of various brain systems, moving from foundational systems to towards systems with greater complexity. Thus, the book begins with growth, repairing and aging, before moving through other functions towards systems such as knowing, consciousness before finishing with ideas such as worshipping and believing. Given Young's background (he was well-known for his own insights into nervous systems), discussion is kept on the physical structures and outcomes of the operation of the various systems discussed and the results of variation and damage to these systems (his examples from patients with frontal lobe damage and lesions of the basal ganglia are especially forceful). Whilst the lectures are clearly from a particular point of view, Young also brings in insights from other fields – thus, for example, in the lecture on human sexuality the connections to questions of morality and ethics are covered too. Young argues that ‘the supreme achievement of sexual development is to learn to share selfishness and thus transcend it,’ in a move which seems influenced by psychoanalytic approaches to sexuality. The same is true of the lectures on creating, which offer substantive engagement with the neurological systems of the brain without lapsing into lazy essentialism or evolutionary psychology that would reduce the complexity and range of human aesthetic experience into basic better/worse dichotomies. The final lecture on belief makes the claim for an innate individual tendency to theism as well as pointing to the social aspect of religion as a historical constant. As such, we seem to share an ‘innate need to identify ourselves and our relation to the world’ (260) and Young argues that worship itself (in whatever form it may take) is quite reasonably included as another program of the brain. This highly stimulating collection of lectures shows the ways in which scientific thought has both learned from philosophy and theology and still has something to share. The reader is left with Young’s insight and what might be termed scientific humility, as he admits that scientific language is still contingent, still hesitant and uncertain. Yet, in his discussion of the “Programs of the Mind,” Young offers an insightful, easily grasped and widely applicable model for better understanding the physical basis of the most immaterial question of all – consciousness itself.