How Religion Works: Towards a New Cognitive Science of Religion

How Religion Works: Towards a New Cognitive Science of Religion

by Ilkka Pyysiainen
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 9004123199

ISBN-13: 9789004123199

Pub. Date: 10/24/2001

Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.

This book presents a detailed argument to support the view that religion as a cultural practice cannot be properly explained without knowledge of the evolved cognitive mechanisms by which humans process information.

This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details.

Overview

This book presents a detailed argument to support the view that religion as a cultural practice cannot be properly explained without knowledge of the evolved cognitive mechanisms by which humans process information.

This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789004123199
Publisher:
Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
10/24/2001
Series:
Cognition & Culture Book Series, #1
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.52(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Prefacevii
Chapter 1Introduction: Cognitive Approach to Religion1
The Category of 'Religion'1
The Cognitive Approach5
Chapter 2God and Transcendence9
'God' as an Emic Concept9
Superhuman Beings, Religion and Science12
Intentional Agents14
Counter-Intuitiveness of Gods18
Summary22
Chapter 3Religion and Culture25
Geertz and the Concept of 'Culture'25
Geertz and Symbolism33
Geertz on Religion as a Symbolic Cultural System44
Summary52
Chapter 4Religion and the Social55
On the Sociological Background of Durkheim's Theory of Religion55
Religion and Society59
Religion as Symbolic of the Society--A Critique63
Religion and Society Reconsidered70
Summary74
Chapter 5Religious Belief, Experience, and Ritual77
Ritual and Emotion78
Theories of ritual80
Ritual form and emotions84
What is Emotion?97
On the Neurophysiology of Emotion102
Religious Experience, "Mysticism" and Emotions109
Religious experience and "mysticism"109
Neurophysiology of religious experience114
Neurophysiological processes and religion124
Emotions, religious belief, and religious experience130
Summary139
Chapter 6Religion, "Worldview," and Ethics143
Religion as "Worldview"143
An Outline of Ethics as a Field of Study158
Theories of ethics158
Naturalist criticism of philosophical ethics162
Towards naturalist ethics165
Religious Ethics173
Christian and Buddhist ethics173
Mind and society in interaction183
Differences in the sociocultural backgrounds of Buddhism and Christianity189
Summary193
Chapter 7Religion and Cognition: Towards a New Science of Religion197
Domain Specificity197
Cognitive Modules199
Intuitive Theories and Cognitive Domains208
Is Religion a Cognitive Domain?215
Violating the boundaries between domains215
Distinguishing between religion and other forms of counter-intuitiveness217
Empirical evidence of counter-intuitiveness as a characteristic of religion225
Summary235
References237
Index of Names267
Index of Subjects270

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >