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Evolution, Religion, and Cognitive ScienceCritical and Constructive Essays$
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Fraser Watts and Léon P. Turner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199688081

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688081.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

The Evolution of Divine and Human Minds: Evolutionary Psychology, the Cognitive Study of Religion and Theism

The Evolution of Divine and Human Minds: Evolutionary Psychology, the Cognitive Study of Religion and Theism

Chapter:
(p.56) 4 The Evolution of Divine and Human Minds: Evolutionary Psychology, the Cognitive Study of Religion and Theism
Source:
Evolution, Religion, and Cognitive Science
Author(s):

Aku Visala

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688081.003.0004

It is commonly assumed that the cognitive and evolutionary explanations of religion make the truth of theism more improbable than not. Here, two interrelated questions will be examined. First, what is the relationship between the cognitive study of religion and evolutionary psychology? This chapter will examine how general critiques of evolutionary psychology have been treated by CSR scholars seeks, and suggest that little consensus currently exists over this matter. Second, what, if any, are the implications for theism if the cognitive study of religion is explicitly grounded in evolutionary psychology? It will be argued that the answer hinges on the religious implications of the evolutionary perspective in general. It is suggested that evolutionary theory is compatible with theism, but that some formulations of evolutionary psychology may conflict with some specifically Christian doctrines, such as certain accounts of original sin and some other aspects of theological anthropology.

Keywords:   Theism, evolutionary psychology, cognitive science of religion, evolutionary explanations, rationality, religious beliefs, religious relevance, Christian theology

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