Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Cognitive Science of Religion

  • Dimitris Xygalatas
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_9261-4

The Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR) is an academic subdiscipline that studies the mental capacities and processes that underlie recurrent patterns of religious thought and behavior. The main focus of CSR is on unconscious processes such as thoughts, biases, emotions, and motivations. Unlike the related field of the Psychology of Religion, whose primary level of analysis is the individual, CSR is primarily interested in accounting for cultural forms and explaining why these particular forms are more widespread than others. Like Cognitive Science in general, CSR is interdisciplinary, employing theoretical perspectives and methodological tools from such diverse fields as religious studies; cultural, cognitive, and evolutionary anthropology; cognitive, developmental, and evolutionary psychology; philosophy; neuroscience; biology; behavioral ecology; history; and archaeology.

Given the interdisciplinary and pluralistic character of the field, there are ongoing debates over...


Cultural Form Ritualize Behavior Heart Rate Pattern Precautionary Behavior Facial Expression Analysis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Interacting Minds CentreAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark