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Religion and the Philosophy of Life$
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Gavin Flood

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198836124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198836124.001.0001

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Religion and the Bio-Sociology of Transformation

Religion and the Bio-Sociology of Transformation

(p.365) 11 Religion and the Bio-Sociology of Transformation
Religion and the Philosophy of Life

Gavin Flood

Oxford University Press

This final chapter seeks, first, to account for some recent explanations of human interaction in terms of cognition and evolutionary neuroscience; and second, to show how social cognition is transformed through religion at a cultural level as a system in relation to the environment; religion is a form of bio-sociology. This transformation is echoed in the history of Homo sapiens as a move from sign to symbol, suggesting, third, an abductive philosophical claim that life itself comes to articulation through religion; religions are the transformation of bio-energy expressed at an interpersonal level in human face-to-face encounter re-articulated at structurally higher levels of religious systems comprising practice, doctrine, narrative, and law. This transformation of human bio-sociology into religion is the way in which civilization seeks to repair the human and to bring us more acutely into life through the integration of higher linguistic consciousness with deeper, pre-linguistic forms of life.

Keywords:   neuroscience, social cognition, bio-sociology, system, sign, symbol

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