Armin W. Geertz is Professor Emeritus at the Department for the Study of Religion and Former Fellow of Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University. He was the co-founder of the Religion, Cognition, and Culture research unit at the same university and helped established the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion where he was president (2012-2014). Currently, he is also editor of the Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion. Professor Geertz does research on Indigenous religions, Comparative Religion, Mythology and Folklore, and Extreme Religiosity and Mysticism. He also works in the Cognitive Science of Religion and in Method and Theory in the Study of Religion. He uses a variety of methods spanning historical study, fieldwork, experiments, and text mining.
In this week's podcast, professor Armin Geertz outlines an answer elaborating on the arguments presented in his co-authored book The Emergence and Evolution of Religion by Means of Natural Selection. He argues that there are multilevel selection processes that happen within different sociocultural formations, and these are key to understanding how religion has evolved throughout history.
This week we decided to do something a bit different. Every time David and Chris have conducted an interview, they have been asking the interviewees an additional question: “What is the Future of Religious Studies?” The result is this highly stimulating compilation of differing perspectives and levels of optimism The result is this highly stimulating compilation of differing perspectives and levels of optimism on what has become one of the most hotly debated topics in the academic study of religion at the start of the second decade of the twenty-first century.
The cognitive study of religion has quickly established itself as the paradigmatic methodology in the field today. It’s grounded in the concept that religiosity is natural because it is well adapted to the cognitive propensities developed during the evolution of our species. In this episode, Professor Armin Geertz tells Chris why it deserves its prominent profile, and how it is developing.