Religion: immediate experience and the mediacy of research

interdisciplinary studies, concepts and methodology of empirical research in religion

Author: Hans-Günter Heimbrock,Christopher P. Scholtz

Publisher: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

ISBN: 9783525604342

Category: Religion

Page: 283

View: 4638

This volume deals with the question of how the immediacy of religious experience can best and scientifically apt be presented? Twelve internationally renowned scholars from Europe, North America, and Africa approach this fundamental issue drawing from their expertise in theology, the philosophy of religion, cultural anthropology, and the social sciences. In doing so this volume relates to a broad scope of religious experience from various cultural and religious contexts.

Origins of Religion, Cognition and Culture

Author: Armin W. Geertz

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317544552

Category: Religion

Page: 488

View: 1313

Attempts to understand the origins of humanity have raised fundamental questions about the complex relationship between cognition and culture. Central to the debates on origins is the role of religion, religious ritual and religious experience. What came first: individual religious (ecstatic) experiences, collective observances of transition situations, fear of death, ritual competence, magical coercion; mirror neurons or temporal lobe religiosity? Cognitive scientists are now providing us with important insights on phylogenetic and ontogenetic processes. Together with insights from the humanities and social sciences on the origins, development and maintenance of complex semiotic, social and cultural systems, a general picture of what is particularly human about humans could emerge. Reflections on the preconditions for symbolic and linguistic competence and practice are now within our grasp. Origins of Religion, Cognition and Culture puts culture centre stage in the cognitive science of religion.

Textual, Comparative, Sociological, and Cognitive Approaches

Author: Peter Antes,Armin W. Geertz,Randi R. Warne

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 3110211718

Category: Religion

Page: 503

View: 7755

Since its founding by Jacques Waardenburg in 1971, Religion and Reason has been a leading forum for contributions on theories, theoretical issues and agendas related to the phenomenon and the study of religion. Topics include (among others) category formation, comparison, ethnophilosophy, hermeneutics, methodology, myth, phenomenology, philosophy of science, scientific atheism, structuralism, and theories of religion. From time to time the series publishes volumes that map the state of the art and the history of the discipline.

Science and Religious Anthropology

A Spiritually Evocative Naturalist Interpretation of Human Life

Author: Dr Wesley J Wildman

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 1409478351

Category: Religion

Page: 294

View: 8499

Science and Religious Anthropology explores the convergence of the biological sciences, human sciences, and humanities around a spiritually evocative, naturalistic vision of human life. The disciplinary contributions are at different levels of complexity, from evolution of brains to existential longings, and from embodied sociality to ecosystem habitat. The resulting interpretation of the human condition supports some aspects of traditional theological thinking in the world's religious traditions while seriously challenging other aspects. Wesley Wildman draws out these implications for philosophical and religious anthropology and argues that the modern secular interpretation of humanity is most compatible with a religious form of naturalistic humanism. This book resists the reduction of meaning and value questions while taking scientific theories about human life with full seriousness. It argues for a religious interpretation of human beings as bodily creatures emerging within a natural environment that permits engagement with the valuational potentials of reality. This engagement promotes socially borne spiritual quests to realize and harmonize values in everything human beings do, from the forging of cultures to the crafting of personal convictions.

The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in the Study of Religion

Author: Michael Stausberg,Steven Engler

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136577645

Category: Religion

Page: 568

View: 2937

This is the first comprehensive survey in English of research methods in the field of religious studies. It is designed to enable non-specialists and students at upper undergraduate and graduate levels to understand the variety of research methods used in the field. The aim is to create awareness of the relevant methods currently available and to stimulate an active interest in exploring unfamiliar methods, encouraging their use in research and enabling students and scholars to evaluate academic work with reference to methodological issues. A distinguished team of contributors cover a broad spectrum of topics, from research ethics, hermeneutics and interviewing, to Internet research and video-analysis. Each chapter covers practical issues and challenges, the theoretical basis of the respective method, and the way it has been used in religious studies, illustrated by case studies.

Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not

Author: Robert N. McCauley

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199912300

Category: Religion

Page: 352

View: 7300

The battle between religion and science, competing methods of knowing ourselves and our world, has been raging for many centuries. Now scientists themselves are looking at cognitive foundations of religion--and arriving at some surprising conclusions. Over the course of the past two decades, scholars have employed insights gleaned from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and related disciplines to illuminate the study of religion. In Why Religion is Natural and Science Is Not, Robert N. McCauley, one of the founding fathers of the cognitive science of religion, argues that our minds are better suited to religious belief than to scientific inquiry. Drawing on the latest research and illustrating his argument with commonsense examples, McCauley argues that religion has existed for many thousands of years in every society because the kinds of explanations it provides are precisely the kinds that come naturally to human minds. Science, on the other hand, is a much more recent and rare development because it reaches radical conclusions and requires a kind of abstract thinking that only arises consistently under very specific social conditions. Religion makes intuitive sense to us, while science requires a lot of work. McCauley then draws out the larger implications of these findings. The naturalness of religion, he suggests, means that science poses no real threat to it, while the unnaturalness of science puts it in a surprisingly precarious position. Rigorously argued and elegantly written, this provocative book will appeal to anyone interested in the ongoing debate between religion and science, and in the nature and workings of the human mind.

Deep History, Secular Theory

Historical and Scientific Studies of Religion

Author: Luther Martin

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

ISBN: 1614518165

Category: Religion

Page: 376

View: 6087

Over the course of his career, Luther H. Martin has primarily produced articles rather than monographs. This approach to publication has given him the opportunity to experiment with different methodological approaches to an academic study of religion, with updates to and different interpretations of his field of historical specialization, namely Hellenistic religions, the subject of his only monograph (1987). The contents of this collected volume represent Martin's shift from comparative studies, to socio-political studies, to scientific studies of religion, and especially to the cognitive science of religion. He currently considers the latter to be the most viable approach for a scientific study of religion within the academic context of a modern research university. The twenty-five contributions collected in this volume are selected from over one hundred essays, articles, and book chapters published over a long and industrious career and are representative of Martin's work over the past two decades.

The Cognitive Science of Religion

Author: James A. Van Slyke

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317037928

Category: Religion

Page: 192

View: 9706

The cognitive science of religion is a relatively new academic field in the study of the origins and causes of religious belief and behaviour. The focal point of empirical research is the role of basic human cognitive functions in the formation and transmission of religious beliefs. However, many theologians and religious scholars are concerned that this perspective will reduce and replace explanations based in religious traditions, beliefs, and values. This book attempts to bridge the reductionist divide between science and religion through examination and critique of different aspects of the cognitive science of religion and offers a conciliatory approach that investigates the multiple causal factors involved in the emergence of religion.

Faith from a Positive Psychology Perspective

Author: Cindy Miller-Perrin,Elizabeth Krumrei Mancuso

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9401794367

Category: Psychology

Page: 255

View: 2549

This book highlights religious faith from a positive psychology perspective, examining the relationship between religious faith and optimal psychological functioning. It takes a perspective of religious diversity that incorporates international and cross-cultural work. The empirical literature on the role of faith and cognition, faith and emotion, and faith and behaviour is addressed including how these topics relate to individuals’ mental health, well-being, strength, and resilience. Information on how these faith concepts are relevant to the broader context of relational functioning in families, friendships, and communities is also incorporated. Psychologists have traditionally focused on the treatment of mental illness from a perspective of repairing damaged habits, damaged drives, damaged childhoods, and damaged brains. In recent years, however, many psychological researchers and practitioners have attempted to re-focus the field away from the study of human weakness and damage toward the promotion of a positive psychology of well-being among individuals, families, and communities. One domain within the field of positive psychology is the study of religious faith as a human strength that has the potential to enhance individuals’ optimal existence and well-being.

Handbook of Research on Adult Learning and Development

Author: M Cecil Smith,Nancy DeFrates-Densch, Assistant Editor

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135597391

Category: Education

Page: 832

View: 9400

The time is right for this comprehensive, state-of-the-art Handbook that analyzes, integrates, and summarizes theoretical advances and research findings on adult development and learning - a rapidly growing field reflecting demographic shifts toward an aging population in Western societies. Featuring contributions from prominent scholars across diverse disciplinary fields (education, developmental psychology, public policy, gerontology, neurology, public health, sociology, family studies, and adult education), the volume is organized around six themes: theoretical perspectives on adult development and learning research methods in adult development research on adult development research on adult learning aging and gerontological research policy perspectives on aging. The Handbook is an essential reference for researchers, faculty, graduate students and practitioners whose work pertains to adult and lifespan development and learning.

Studying Hinduism

Key Concepts and Methods

Author: Sushil Mittal,Gene Thursby

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134418299

Category: Religion

Page: 424

View: 5900

This book is an indispensable resource for students and researchers wishing to develop a deeper understanding of one of the world's oldest and most multifaceted religious traditions. Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby, leading scholars in the field, have brought together a rich variety of perspectives which reflect the current lively state of the field. Studying Hinduism is the result of cooperative work by accomplished specialists in several fields that include anthropology, art, comparative literature, history, philosophy, religious studies, and sociology. Through these complementary and exciting approaches, students will gain a greater understanding of India's culture and traditions, to which Hinduism is integral. The book uses key critical terms and topics as points of entry into the subject, revealing that although Hinduism can be interpreted in sharply contrasting ways and set in widely varying contexts, it is endlessly fascinating and intriguing.

Educational Research

A Guide To the Process

Author: Norman E. Wallen,Jack R. Fraenkel

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1135705909

Category: Education

Page: 568

View: 9060

This second edition of a core text for introductory courses in educational research is a unique text-workbook that actually carries students through the process of designing and analysing a research project of their choice.

The Mind of Mithraists

Historical and Cognitive Studies in the Roman Cult of Mithras

Author: Luther H. Martin

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 147258421X

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 8865

The Roman cult of Mithras was the most widely-dispersed and densely-distributed cult throughout the expanse of the Roman Empire from the end of the first until the fourth century AD, rivaling the early growth and development of Christianity during the same period. As its membership was largely drawn from the ranks of the military, its spread, but not its popularity is attributable largely to military deployments and re-deployments. Although mithraists left behind no written archival evidence, there is an abundance of iconographic finds. The only characteristic common to all Mithraic temples were the fundamental architecture of their design, and the cult image of Mithras slaying a bull. How were these two features so faithfully transmitted through the Empire by a non-centralized, non-hierarchical religious movement? The Minds of Mithraists: Historical and Cognitive Studies in the Roman Cult of Mithras addresses these questions as well as the relationship of Mithraism to Christianity, explanations of the significance of the tauroctony and of the rituals enacted in the mithraea, and explanations for the spread of Mithraism (and for its resistance in a few places). The unifying theme throughout is an investigation of the 'mind' of those engaged in the cult practices of this widespread ancient religion. These investigations represent traditional historical methods as well as more recent studies employing the insights of the cognitive sciences, demonstrating that cognitive historiography is a valuable methodological tool.

Oxford Companion to Emotion and the Affective Sciences

Author: David Sander,Klaus Scherer

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191021016

Category: Psychology

Page: 520

View: 5354

Few areas have witnessed the type of growth we have seen in the affective sciences in the past decades. Across psychology, philosophy, economics, and neuroscience, there has been an explosion of interest in the topic of emotion and affect. Comprehensive, authoritative, up-to-date, and easy-to-use, the new Oxford Companion to Emotion and the Affective Sciences is an indispensable resource for all who wish to find out about theories, concepts, methods, and research findings in this rapidly growing interdisciplinary field - one that brings together, amongst others, psychologists, neuroscientists, social scientists, philosophers, and historians. Organized by alphabetical entries, and presenting brief definitions, concise overviews, and encyclopaedic articles (all with extensive references to relevant publications), this Companion lends itself to casual browsing by non-specialists interested in the fascinating phenomena of emotions, moods, affect disorders, and personality as well as to focused search for pertinent information by students and established scholars in the field. Not only does the book provide entries on affective phenomena, but also on their neural underpinnings, their cognitive antecedents and the associated responses in physiological systems, facial, vocal, and bodily expressions, and action tendencies. Numerous entries also consider the role of emotion in society and social behavior, as well as in cognitive processes such as those critical for perception, attention, memory, judgement and decision-making. The volume has been edited by a group of internationally leading authorities in the respective disciplines consisting of two editors (David Sander and Klaus Scherer) as well as group of 11 associate editors (John T. Cacioppo, Tim Dalgleish, Robert Dantzer, Richard J. Davidson, Ronald B. de Sousa, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, Nico Frijda, George Loewenstein, Paula M. Niedenthal, Peter Salovey, and Richard A. Shweder). The members of the editorial board have commissioned and reviewed contributions from major experts on specific topics. In addition to comprehensive coverage of technical terms and fundamental issues, the volume also highlights current debates that inform the ongoing research process. In addition, the Companion contains a wealth of material on the role of emotion in applied domains such as economic behaviour, music and arts, work and organizational behaviour, family interactions and group dynamics, religion, law and justice, and societal change. Highly accessible and wide-ranging, this book is a vital resource for scientists, students, and professionals eager to obtain a rapid, conclusive overview on central terms and topics and anyone wanting to learn more about the mechanisms underlying the emotions dominating many aspects of our lives.

Theory and Practice of International Mediation

Selected Essays

Author: Jacob Bercovitch

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136827129

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 2384

This volume brings together some of the most significant papers on international conflict mediation by Professor Jacob Bercovitch, one of the leading scholars in the field. It has become common practice to note that mediation has been, and remains, one of the most important structures of dealing with and resolving social conflicts. Irrespective of the level of political or social organization, of their location in time and space, and of the political sophistication of a society, mediation has always been there to help deal with conflicts. As a method of conflict management, the practice of settling disputes through intermediaries has had a rich history in all cultures, both Western and non-Western. In some non-Western countries (especially in the Middle East and China) mediation has been the most important and enduring structure of conflict resolution. Jacob Bercovitch has been at the forefront of developments in international conflict mediation for more than 25 years, and is generally recognized as one of the most important scholars in the field. His theoretical and empirical analyses have come to define the parameters in the study of mediation. This volume will help scholars and practitioners trace the history of the field, its position today and its future and will be of much interest to all students of mediation, negotiation, conflict management, international security and international relations in general.

Explanation and Cognition

Author: Frank C. Keil,Robert Andrew Wilson,Robert Anton Wilson

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262112499

Category: Psychology

Page: 396

View: 1804

These essays draw on work in the history and philosophy of science, the philosophy of mind and language, the development of concepts in children, conceptual change in adults, and reasoning in human and artificial systems. Explanations seem to be a large and natural part of our cognitive lives. As Frank Keil and Robert Wilson write, "When a cognitive activity is so ubiquitous that it is expressed both in a preschooler's idle questions and in work that is the culmination of decades of scholarly effort, one has to ask whether we really have one and the same phenomenon or merely different cognitively based phenomena that are loosely, or even metaphorically, related." This book is unusual in its interdisciplinary approach to that ubiquitous activity. The essays address five basic questions about explanation: How do explanatory capacities develop? Are there kinds of explanation? Do explanations correspond to domains of knowledge? Why do we seek explanations, and what do they accomplish? How central are causes to explanation? The essays draw on work in the history and philosophy of science, the philosophy of mind and language, the development of concepts in children, conceptual change in adults, and reasoning in human and artificial systems. They also introduce emerging perspectives on explanation from computer science, linguistics, and anthropology. Contributors Woo-kyoung Ahn, William F. Brewer, Patricia W. Cheng, Clark A. Chinn, Andy Clark, Robert Cummins, Clark Glymour, Alison Gopnik, Christine Johnson, Charles W. Kalish, Frank C. Keil, Robert N. McCauley, Gregory L. Murphy, Ala Samarapungavan, Herbert A. Simon, Paul Thagard, Robert A. Wilson

Literary Structures of Religious Meaning in the Qur'ān

Author: Issa J. Boullata

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 9780700712564

Category: Religion

Page: 393

View: 1479

This volume studies how the literary elements in the Qur'an function in conveying its religious message effectively. It is divided into three parts. Part one includes studies of the whole Qur'an or large segments of it belonging to one historical period of its revelation; these studies concentrate on the analysis of its language, its style, its structural composition, its aesthetic characteristics, its rhetorical devices, its imagery, and the impact of these elements and their significance. Part two includes studies on individual suras of the Qur'an, each of which focuses on the sura's literary elements and how they produce meaning; each also explores the structure of this meaning and the coherence of its effect. Part three includes studies on Muslim appreciations of the literary aspects of the Qur'an in past generations and shows how modern linguistic, semantic, semiotic, and literary scholarship can add to their contributions.

Religion and Healing in America

Author: Linda L. Barnes,Susan Starr Sered

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0195167953

Category: Religion

Page: 535

View: 9953

Americans have long been aware of the phenomenon loosely known as faith healing. Such practices most often received attention when they came into conflict with biomedical practice. During the 1990s, however, the American cultural landscape changed dramatically and religious healing became acommonplace feature of our society. The essays in this book chart this new reality. Insofar as healing traditions constitute the meeting ground or point of conflict between different groups, argue the authors, they provide a powerful lens through which to examine cultural changes at work. Each ofthe papers offers a particular case study. Many emphasize gender, race, ethnicity, and class as key components of healing experiences.