Year: 2012 ISBN: 978-90-429-2553-3 Pages: XVIII-241 p. Price: 48 EURO
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This volume addresses the problem of change and continuity in religious traditions from the perspective of cognitive science. Relying on the rapidly growing body of scientific knowledge about the human mind, the authors examine cross-culturally recurrent religious phenomena and specific reli-gious traditions, in an attempt to explain why religions change dynamically whilst still exhibiting high degrees of continuity. The volume contributes to our understanding of how social and cultural phenomena emerge from mental processes taking place in the brains of many individuals.
The cognitive turn in the humanities entails not only a new, biological-ly grounded view of human phenomena, but also novel questions and methods. Some of the chapters, written by philosophers and linguists, discuss what the study of religion can learn from other disciplines that have already undertaken the cognitive turn. Anthropologists and psychologists of religion build bridges from different areas within the cognitive sciences to very specific issues of religion; they thus pave the way for Biblical scholars and theologians who are embracing the new cognitive method.
This volume is the result of the International Workshop on Religion and Cognition, co-organised by the Cultural Change programme and the Centre for Religion and Cognition at the University of Groningen in 2006.