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The Believing PrimateScientific, Philosophical, and Theological Reflections on the Origin of Religion$
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Jeffrey Schloss and Michael Murray

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557028

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557028.001.0001

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Cognitive Science and the Evolution of Religion

Cognitive Science and the Evolution of Religion

A Philosophical and Theological Appraisal

(p.265) 13 Cognitive Science and the Evolution of Religion
The Believing Primate

Nancey Murphy

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how cognitive science accounts for the existence of religion, by focusing on the works of Pascal Boyer (writer of Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought). It begins by giving an overview of some of Boyer’s work, then relating theology to cognitive science of religion. It presents theological accounts on the development of religion, and how Boyer’s account on the development of religion can be adopted into it. Lastly, it suggests some of the ways Christianity can benefit from this adoption, both practically and theologically.

Keywords:   Christianity, cognitive science, religion, theology, Pascal Boyer

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