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Cognitive Science and the New TestamentA New Approach to Early Christian Research$
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István Czachesz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198779865

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198779865.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Religious Experience

Religious Experience

(p.141) 7 Religious Experience
Cognitive Science and the New Testament

István Czachesz

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses “extreme” and “moderate” forms of subjective religious experience. It starts with an inquiry of the phenomenology of subjective experience, leading to the concept of religious experience in cognitive research. The next part of the chapter considers the contextual factors that generate and influence religious experience, including beliefs, textual traditions, neuroanatomy, and practices. The lobes theory of religious experience is outlined, which connects social, theological, and ritual variables to cognitive patterns. The lobes theory is used to continue the discussion of the situation in the Corinthian Church. The final part of the chapter deals with ancient tours of heaven, using neuroscientific evidence to make sense of their overall structure and particular details. The neuroscientific two-phase model is applied to the tour of heaven in the Ascension of Isaiah, followed by a brief discussion of other early Jewish and Christian apocalypses.

Keywords:   subjective experience, Jewish and Christian apocalypses, Corinthian Church, tours of heaven, neuroanatomy, neuroscientific evidence, Ascension of Isaiah

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