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Viktor Toth


PhD Candidate, Systematic Theology

Faculty Advisor

About Viktor

Rev. Viktor J. Tóth was born and raised in Hungary where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies, and completed two years graduate studies in Philosophy. After moving to the US, he graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary completing its MDiv program in 2015. He is a PhD candidate in the same institution focusing on Theological Anthropology. In connection with theological resources, his fields of research include paleoanthropology, brain sciences, complex systems theory, philosophy of mind, and psychology. He is fluent in English and Hungarian, and proficient in German, Hebrew, Koine Greek, and Latin. He published several articles and chapters in peer-reviewed journals and edited books. He is an ordained minister.


Fuller Theological Seminary


Master of Divinity

Saint Paul Academy

BA in Biblical Studies


Research Interests

Theology, philosophy, complex systems theory, psychology, paleoanthropology.


“Ultimate Reality in Three Distinctive Traditions,” in Interfaith Engagement Beyond the Divide: Approaches, Experiences, and Practices, eds., Johannes M. Luetz, Denise A. Austin, Adis Duderija (

2023, Springer

This research has two primary objectives. In the first part, I touch on some remarkable similarities regarding ‘Ultimate Reality’ in three major traditions: Zen Buddhism, Eastern Christianity, and Western Christianity. I focus mainly on the teachings of Masao Abe, St Gregory Palamas, and Meister Eckhart. One of the themes draws on the parallels between the Buddhist notion of arriving at ´s¯unyat¯a, the Orthodox notion of seeking union with God through the practice of unknowing (¢γνωσ…α), and Eckhart’s notion of reaching God via “undifferentiation.” Related to this is Buddhism’s objective of leaving the false notion of self, the Orthodox aim to be liberated from creation and be united to the Creator, and Eckart’s notion of merging the highest part of the soul into non-existence. All three traditions recognize the transitory nature of the world and therefore all affirm that the perfection of humans does not consist in which assimilates them to creation, but in what distinguishes them from the created order and assimilates them to the Ultimate Reality. In the second part, I utilize neurotheology, a relatively new research field, in interreligious dialogue. I comment on some nearly identical practices in Zen Buddhism and Eastern Orthodoxy from a neuro-theological perspective, linking them to the unique religious practice called ‘speaking in tongues’. I argue that these similarities not only signify the shared evolutionary past and neurobiological present of every human being but, from a religious point of view, even indicate the same Ultimate Reality as our shared telos. My goal is to contribute to interfaith dialogue via highlighting these similarities and encouraging extended utilization of neurotheology in the field.

Creation and Humanity: Veli-Matti Kärkäinen’s Answer to the Ultimate Question

2020, Dialog

This article focuses on the third volume of Vel-Matti Kärkkäinen’s systematic theology, titled Creation and Humanity. After a brief overview of the volume the article offers some clarification on the tenth chapter, especially on its interaction with paleontology. After that, two constructive observations follow. The first is related to Kärkkäinen’s notion of the embeddedness of human nature, and the second is to further employ systems thinking in his constructive work on creation and human evolution.

Visions and Visionaries at the Dawn of Humanity: Stone Age Religion and Spiritual Neuroscience

2023, Engaging Particularities

This paper is an attempt to explore the evolutionary roots of numinous experiences (revelations, visions, mystical encounters, etc.). By its nature, that is, taking biological evolution seriously, it also takes the neurobiological reality of human existence seriously. However, on the one hand, this approach supports neither reductionism (i.e., numinous experiences cannot be reduced to physical or bio-chemical processes of the body, such as brain events), or dualism (i.e., the notion that human beings are made up of two [or three] different parts). There are many phrases floating around in contemporary religious anthropology trying to avoid either dualism or strict physicalism. For example, explanatory pluralism talks about humans being physiological, psychological, and spiritual realities at the same time. These are not “parts” but existential aspects of the human life, mutually interdependent, but not reducible to each other. From a contemporary evolutionary perspective (e.g., developmental systems theory, extended evolutionary synthesis, or niche construction theory) they are the elements of one developmental system, that “nurtured” human life as we know it today.

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