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The cognitive science of religion and Christian faith: some preliminary considerations

1254880The cognitive science of religion and Christian faith: some preliminary considerations
Jonathan Jong, June 2012
 

 

Author

Jonathan Jong
Centre for Anthropology and Mind, University of Oxford

 

Abstract

The ‘cognitive science of religion’ (CSR) is an inter-disciplinary research programme, predominantly involving anthropologists, psychologists, religious studies scholars, and philosophers. The aim of the research programme is, in Boyer's (2001) titular phrase, to ‘explain religion’. That is, CSR endeavours to understand the psychological underpinnings of religious belief and behaviour, thereby explaining the ubiquity of religious belief and practice and the similarities and differences across religious traditions. While the empirical and theoretical research has been going on for nearly two decades, little attention has been turned to the implications of CSR for Christian belief and practice. In this paper, I shall (begin to) explore the potential implications of CSR for traditional Christian theism.

 

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