Can the Study of Religion be Scientific?
Chasing Down Religion - In the Sights of History and the Cognitive Sciences - Panayotis Pachis
Dimitris Xygalatas [+]
University of Connecticut, United States, and Aarhus University, Denmark
Dimitris Xygalatas holds a joint position between the Interacting Minds Centre at Aarhus University and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut, where he is directing the Experimental Anthropology Lab. He has previously held positions at the universities of Princeton and Masaryk, where he served as Director of the Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion. His main areas of interest are experimental anthropology and the experimental study of religion, and much of his work has focused on the practice of extreme rituals around the world. He has conducted several years of ethnographic research in Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, and Mauritius and has pioneered new methods, integrating ethnographic and experimental approaches in field research.
Dimitris Xygalatas looks at the emerging field of the Cognitive Study of Religion, which attempts to bridge the gap between the study of religion and the natural sciences by shifting the focus from mere description and interpretation to more explanatory, test-able models of religious behaviour.