RELG 346 - Cognitive Science of Religion
Central to much research in the cognitive science of religion (CSR) is the question of how the human brain and its evolved capacities inform and constrain the transmission of religious beliefs and ritual practices. The cognitive science of religion also seeks to answer why it is that certain beliefs and specific practices appear to outperform and outlive others. More generally, the CSR seeks to explain the persistence and pervasiveness of religious beliefs and practices throughout human history by drawing on the theories and methodologies of a range of disciplines, including cognitive neuroscience, social psychology, behavioral ecology, and several others, as well as disciplines more traditionally associated with the study of religion. Scholars in CSR embrace a variety of methods, including textual analysis, quantification of historical and archaeological data, statistical analysis of ethnographic data, controlled laboratory experiments, and mathematical modeling. This course is a survey of the most influential of the CSR theories and methods in the field.
Major/Minor Restrictions: None
Class Restriction: None
Area of Inquiry: Human Thought and Expression
Liberal Arts CORE: None
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