21. The Computational Science of Religion

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

Justin E. Lane
University of Oxford
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Fount LeRon Shults [+-]
University of Agder
Fount LeRon Shults is professor at the Institute for Religion, Philosophy, and History at the University of Agder and director of the NORCE Center for Modeling Social Systems in Kristiansand, Norway. He has published 17 books and nearly 100 scientific articles and book chapters on topics related to the study of religion.


This article provides a basic overview of the most common methods of computer modelling and simulation that are currently being used to study religion. It focuses on the use (and illustrates the value) of system dynamics models, agent-based models, including game theory and multi-agent artificial intelligence models, and artificial neural networks. General use case examples are provided, and considerations for future research are discussed. We conclude by encouraging scholars interested in religion and related fields to incorporate techniques from the computational science of religion into their collaborative methodological toolkits.

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Lane, Justin; Shults, Fount LeRon. 21. The Computational Science of Religion. 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=43021. Date accessed: 20 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43021. Oct 2022

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