20. The Computational Science of Religion
Studying the Religious Mind - Methodology in the Cognitive Science of Religion - Armin W. Geertz
Justin E. Lane
ALAN Analytics s.r.o, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, and NORCE Center for Modeling Social Systems, Kristiansand, Norway
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 chapter 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.