17. Exploring the Challenges and Potentialities of the Database of Religious History for Cognitive Historiography

Studying the Religious Mind - Methodology in the Cognitive Science of Religion - Armin W. Geertz

Brenton Sullivan [+-]
Colgate University
Brenton Sullivan is Assistant Professor of Religion at Colgate University.
Michael Muthukrishna [+-]
London School of Economics
Michael Muthukrishna is Associate Professor of Economic Psychology at the London School of Economics.
Frederick S. Tappenden [+-]
St. Stephen’s College at the University of Alberta
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Frederick S. Tappenden is Principal and Dean, and Professor of Theology, at St. Stephen's College at the Univesrity of Alberta.  He conducts his reserach at the intersection of the social and cognitive sciences, particularly focusing on the writings of anicent Judean and Christ-believing communities.  He is the co-editor (with Edward Slingerland) of the JCH special topics issue (2016): "Digital Humanities, Cognitive Historiogrpahy, and the Study of Religion" (JCH 3.1-2). 
Edward Slingerland [+-]
University of British Columbia
Edward Slingerland is Distinguished University Scholar and Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia.
M. Willis Monroe [+-]
University of British Columbia
Research Associate, University of British Columbia

Description

This chapter explores the potential impact and contribution of the Database of Religious History (DRH) project within the field of Cognitive Historiography. The DRH aims to bring together, in a systematic and open-access format, data on religious groups from across the globe and throughout history. By utilizing robust, open-source technologies and best-practice software principles, the DRH constitutes a novel and innovative approach to historical and cultural studies. As a contribution to the scientific study of both religion and history, the DRH offers data amenable to statistical analyses, thus providing tools for assessing diachronic cultural innovation and adaptation, the testing of grand narrative theories of religious change, and for enriching and revitalizing traditional fields such as comparative religions, history of religion(s), and anthropology of religion. In this chapter we explore the methods employed in collecting and digitizing historical data, identify our unit of analysis, outline the challenges of recruiting historians of various fields, and highlight the DRH’s methodological potential for both Religious Studies and Cognitive historiography.

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Citation

Sullivan, Brenton; Muthukrishna, Michael; Tappenden, Frederick; Slingerland, Edward; Monroe, M. Willis. 17. Exploring the Challenges and Potentialities of the Database of Religious History for Cognitive Historiography. Studying the Religious Mind - Methodology in the Cognitive Science of Religion. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2022. ISBN 9781800501614. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=43017. Date accessed: 18 Aug 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43017. Oct 2022

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