Religious Bodies, Minds and Places: A Cognitive Science of Religion Perspective

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During the last decade or so, empirical knowledge about interactions between bodily actions, human thinking, and the cultural embeddedness of human cognition has been accumulating. As any young science, the cognitive science of religion has been rapidly adapting to this new knowledge which has led to an expanded view of cognition. The brain, body, and mind have often erroneously been thought to be more or less independent organs. They are enmeshed, however, not only internally (embodied) but also externally in a vast network of other brains, bodies, and minds (encultured). Thus, mental representations, mental and emotional states, unconscious reactions, and background emotions are socially oriented and often socially caused states. This paper will introduce readers to recent advances in the cognitive science of religion with emphasis on ritual behavior, place, and pilgrimage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpazi e luoghi sacri : Espressioni ed esperienze di vissuto religioso
EditorsLaura Carnevale
Number of pages18
Place of publicationBari
PublisherEdipuglia
Publication year2017
Pages35-52
ISBN (print)978-88-7228-847-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
SeriesBiblioteca Tardoantica
Volume11

Bibliographical note

Although listed as published in 2017, the volume appeared in print during August 2018.

    Research areas

  • cognitive science of religion, sacred space, pilgrimage, study of religion, history of religion, psychology of religion

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