Religion and Cognition: A Reader

This volume explores cognition in the study of religion - that is, the mental processes that govern religious belief and behavior across cultures and eras. The essays in the volume are scientific in nature and universal in scope. They address (a) the naturalistic meta-theoretical stances taken to epistemologically justify cognitive explanations of religion, (b) the theoretical models of cognition that are employed in the cognitive science of religion, (c) the prominent cognitive theories of religion to date, (d) the methods used to gather data and test theories, and (e) experimental findings by cognitive scientists of religion. The volume is divided into two Parts. Part I includes selections that cover the meta-theories and theories employed by cognitive scientists of religion, and Part II includes experimental studies of religion. Combined, these selections make the volume especially useful for introducing students to the basic framework of the cognitive science of religion as well as to the experimental methods and findings that support cognitive theories of religion.