Magic, Miracles, and Religion: A Scientist's Perspective
Can scientists study religion? Ilkka Pyysiäinen says that they can. While the study of religion cannot be reduced to other disciplines, it must not ignore what other disciplines have learned about human thought and behavior. In this collection of essays, Pyysiäinen shows how findings from cognitive science can offer new directions to debates in religion. After providing a historical and theoretical overview of the cognitive science of religion, Pyysiäinen demonstrates how knowledge of the mind's workings can help deconstruct such concepts as "god," "ideology," "culture," "magic," "miracles," and "religion." For scholars of religion or for scholars of the mind-brain, Magic, Miracles, and Religion provides a helpful overview to this emerging field.
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Abhidharma abstract adaptationism argue arguments Atran Barrett basis biological Boyer brain Buddha Buddhist causal chapter claims cognitive processes cognitive science concept connectionism consciousness Cosmides counterintuitive agents counterintuitive representations critical culture developed domain emotions empirical everyday evolutionary psychology example exist explain fact function generis hermeneutics Honko human mind ical idea ideology important individual inferences interpretation intuitive knowledge intuitive ontologies jhana kinds knowledge Lapin Kulta ligion logical magic and religion means mechanisms metarepresentational context metarepresented miracles module natural objects ontological oral traditions person perspective phenomena phenomenology philosophical physical possible principle problem properties prototype theory psychology Pyysiainen 2001b question reasoning reflective beliefs religious beliefs rituals Rubin scholars science of religion scientific scientists sense social specific Sperber structure study of religion sui generis supernatural Tathagata terintuitive theology theory things thinking third-person thought and behavior tion Tooby true Ultimate Reality understand understood Varela