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Evolution, Religion, and Cognitive Science – Critical and Constructive Essays - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Evolution, Religion, and Cognitive Science: Critical and Constructive Essays

Fraser Watts and Léon P. Turner


The cognitive science of religion is an inherently heterogeneous subject, incorporating theory and data from anthropology, psychology, sociology, evolutionary biology, and philosophy of mind amongst other subjects. One increasingly influential area of research in this field is concerned specifically with exploring the relationship between the evolution of the human mind, the evolution of culture in general, and the origins and subsequent development of religion. This research has exerted a strong influence on many areas of religious studies over the last twenty years, but, for some, the so-cal ... More

Keywords: cognitive science of religion, evolutionary by-product, cultural evolution, explanation, adaptation, supernatural, modularity, evolutionary psychology, religious beliefs, ritual

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199688081
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688081.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Fraser Watts, editor
Fellow of Queens' College, University of Cambridge

Léon P. Turner, editor
Senior Research Associate, University of Cambridge

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