Studying the Religious Mind
Methodology in the Cognitive Science of Religion
Armin W. Geertz [+–]
Leonardo Ambasciano [+–]
Esther Eidinow [+–]
University of Bristol
Luther H. Martin [+–]
University of Vermont
Kristoffer Laigaard Nielbo [+–]
Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University
Nickolas P. Roubekas [+–]
University of Vienna
Valerie van Mulukom [+–]
Dimitris Xygalatas [+–]
University of Connecticut, United States, and Aarhus University, Denmark
The cognitive science of religion (CSR) does not have its own methodology, and yet from the very beginnings of the discipline, methodology has defined it not only in relation to the general study of religion in the humanities but also to the sciences interested in the mind. CSR scholars are using a wide range of methodologies, borrowing mostly from the cognitive sciences and experimental psychology, but also from biology, archaeology, history, philosophy, linguistics, the social and statistical sciences, neurosciences, and anthropology. This multi-disciplinarity, in fact, defines the cognitive science of religion. Such multi-disciplinarity requires hard work and truly interdisciplinary teams, but also continual reflections on and debates about the methodologies being used. In fact, no CSR study worth its name can rely on only one methodology. Triangulation is standard, but often even more approaches are used.
This book consists of selected papers from the Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion and the Journal of Cognitive Historiography. Each chapter demonstrates a particular method or group of methods and how those methods advance our knowledge of the religious mind from the ancient past up to today.
Table of Contents
Part I: Fieldwork
Lecturer in Anthropology, Queen’s University Belfast
Research Affiliate, Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion, University of Oxford
Part II: Experimental Study of Religion
Department of Psychology
Social Science Research Institute
Part III: Cognitive Neuroscience
Part IV: Cognitive Historiography
Part V: Big Data
Part VI: Computational Approaches
Part VII: Open Science
Department of Social Psychology
Rohan undertook his PhD in experimental psychology at The University of Queensland where he examined the developmental, cognitive, and cultural factors that influence the perception of ritual. He now works in a postdoctoral research position further examining these questions. Broadly, he is interested in the evolution of culture: how our human minds become able to build, maintain, and transmit cultural information. Outside of the study of ritual, Rohan examines the nature of imitation, and how children learn to distinguish between what is real and what is not real in the world.
Rohan is interested in developmental, cross-cultural, and longitudinal modes of investigation, as well as introducing more computational modelling to the understanding of human behaviour.
Part VIII: Consilience