Cognitive Science

Podcast

The Science of Prayer: Genealogies and Biopolitics

In this week's episode, John Lardas Modern discusses the genealogy and biopolitics of the scientific study of prayer from E.B. Tylor to DEVO.
Response

Mentalizing and Religion

Cognitive Science of Religion has sometimes been criticized for lack of empirical support. Jonathan Jong went as far as claiming that some theories are ‘notoriously under-determined by data’.
Response

Sitting on the bench: is the cognitive and evolutionary study of religion a team sport?

The grand challenge of cross-disciplinary integration Cognitive Science (CS) has always been interdisciplinary and multi disciplinary. As recapped by William Bechtel, Adele Abrahamsen, and George Graham (2001), since the very beginning,
Podcast

‘Modelling Religion’ and the Integration of the Sciences and the Humanities in the Bio-cultural Study of Religion

Following his Albert Moore Memorial Lecture at Otago University, celebrating 50 years of Religious Studies at Otago, Professor Wesley Wildman talks to Thomas White regarding the integration of the sciences and the humanities in his bio-cultural approach to the study of religion.
Response

Ours Can Be To Reason Why

While perspectives about conversion are Christian-centric, the idea of conversion itself is religion-centric.Lynn Davidman's recent RSP interview illustrates why her work is important, serious, and engaging. As I listened to the podcast, three ideas came to mind. First, I was delighted to hear Davidman describe much of the literature on conversion and deconversion as Christian-centric. While I think she could have made this point even more compellingly in the podcast, ...
Podcast

“Practice What You Preach”: CREDs and CRUDs

Religious actions speak louder than words. Dr. Jonathan Lanman on credibility enhancing displays (CREDs), and the role that such public displays of commitment play in the acquisition of both belief and nonbelief.Actions typically speak louder than words. A common version of this statement - practice ...
Response

The Logics of Bricolage Reconsidered: A Cognitive Approach to Individuals and Their Constraints

This response is a defense of the academic interest in the individual, which I take to be inclusive of the variety of ways that the activities of individuals are constrained, or not, in any given context. All constraints are not equal. Veronique Altglas is to be commended for her intervention into the contemporary academic discussions and (often uncritical) usage of the concept of bricolage. As she rightly suggests, ...
Podcast

Religion and Memory

In the year 2000, English-speaking scholars interested in ‘religion’ were introduced (in translation) to one of the most important texts in the sociology of religion in recent years, Danièle Hervieu-Léger’s “Religion as a Chain of Memory”. This book placed the study of ‘religion and memory’ firmly on the academic agenda,
Podcast

Ritual, Religion, and the Evolutionary Foundations of Human Culture

Cognitive neuroscientist Merlin Donald discusses the role of ritual in human evolution, and its continued importance in all forms of society and culture. In this interview, Professor Donald outlines his perspective on the evolution of human cognition, and the importance of both embodied communication and mind-sharing networks.
Podcast

Religion as Anthropomorphism

In Stewart Guthrie’s interview with Thomas J. Coleman III for The Religious Studies Project, Guthrie begins by outlining what it means to ‘explain religion’. He defines anthropomorphism as “the attribution of human characteristics to nonhuman events” and gives an example of this as applied to auditory and visual phenomena throughout the interview.
Podcast

RSP Psychology of Religion Participatory Panel Special

The RSP Psychology of Religion Participatory Panel Special took place during the International Association for the Psychology of Religion 2013 world congress this August in Switzerland, hosted at the at the University of Lausanne. We asked for the RSP listeners to steer the conversation and YOU responded with tough questions...
Response

Religion, Violence, and Cognition

"...it could be more conceptually misleading to talk about ‘religious violence’ than it would be to talk about ‘violence involving religion’. Whereas the former can appear to refer to a distinct category, the latter phrasing implicitly reminds us that human violence is the broader category and that sometimes religious considerations can be involved in that, among others."
Response

Why are Women more Social than Men?

"As a psychologist, my emphasis and interest is in the properties of individuals (or the situations of individuals) that underlie behaviors. Given that women are more agreeable and conscientious than men and that they mentalize more than men, it is not surprising that women are more involved in the social and ritual aspects of human behavior and, therefore, with religion."