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How Religion Works: Towards a New Cognitive Science of Religion [Paperback]

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Item description for How Religion Works: Towards a New Cognitive Science of Religion by Ilkka Pyysiainen, Iikka Pyysiainen, Paul Werstine, Ivan Robertson, Cary L. Cooper, Bernard Burnes & Jon Buller...

Modern findings in cognitive science and evolutionary psychology provide insights to the processes which make religious beliefs and behaviours efficient attractors in and across cultural settings. This text discusses how certain kinds of counter-intuitive ideas are selected for religious use.



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Item Specifications...


Studio: Brill Academic Publishers
Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2003
Publisher   Brill Academic Publishers
ISBN  9004132732  
ISBN13  9789004132733  


Availability  0 units.


More About Ilkka Pyysiainen, Iikka Pyysiainen, Paul Werstine, Ivan Robertson, Cary L. Cooper, Bernard Burnes & Jon Buller


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ilkka Pyysiainen is Associate Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of Turku, Finland, and Academy Research Fellow at the Academy of Finland. Veikko Anttonen is Professor and Chair of Comparative Religion at the University of Turku, Finland. Veikko Anttonen is Professor and Chair of Comparative Religion at the University of Turku, Finland.

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Towards a New Cognitive Science of Religion  Jan 26, 2005
Pyysiäinen applies the philosophies and theories of thinkers that include Émile Durkhiem, Mircea Eliade, Jerry Fodor, Clifford Geertz and Robert McCauley in this analysis of the cognitive basis of religion. Central themes include religion and culture, religion and society, ritual and emotion, and ethics.

Arguing, perhaps controversially, that mechanisms underlying religious thought and behavior are something that can be naturally explained in the same manner as any other cultural and cognitive phenomena, the author examines how cognitive science can shed light on religious phenomena. After defining the ideas and behaviors to be studied, he argues that cognitive theories of the representation of agency and counter- intuitiveness can make sense of the widespread belief in supernatural beings. The theories of religion of Geertz and Durkheim are examined and criticized as arbitrary abstractions. In the end, Pyysiäinen argues that religion should be understood both as a distinct cognitive phenomena and as being related to other phenomena of counter-intuitiveness revealed in empirical studies.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface
Ch. 1 Introduction: Cognitive Approach to Religion 1
The Category of 'Religion' 1
The Cognitive Approach 5
Ch. 2 God and Transcendence 9
'God' as an Emic Concept 9
Superhuman Beings, Religion and Science 12
Intentional Agents 14
Counter-Intuitiveness of Gods 18
Ch. 3 Religion and Culture 25
Geertz and the Concept of 'Culture' 25
Geertz and Symbolism 33
Geertz on Religion as a Symbolic Cultural System 44
Ch. 4 Religion and the Social 55
On the Sociological Background of Durkheim's Theory of Religion 55
Religion and Society 59
Religion as Symbolic of the Society - A Critique 63
Religion and Society Reconsidered 70
Ch. 5 Religious Belief, Experience, and Ritual 77
Ritual and Emotion 78
What is Emotion? 97
On the Neurophysiology of Emotion 102
Religious Experience, "Mysticism" and Emotions 109
Ch. 6 Religion, "Worldview," and Ethics 143
Religion as "Worldview" 143
An Outline of Ethics as a Field of Study 158
Religious Ethics 173
Ch. 7 Religion and Cognition: Towards a New Science of Religion 197
Domain Specificity 197
Cognitive Modules 199
Intuitive Theories and Cognitive Domains 208
Is Religion a Cognitive Domain? 215
References 237
Index of Names 267
Index of Subjects 270
 

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