The cognitive and evolutionary psychology of religion

  title={The cognitive and evolutionary psychology of religion},
  author={Joseph A. Bulbulia},
  journal={Biology and Philosophy},
  • J. Bulbulia
  • Published 1 November 2004
  • Psychology
  • Biology and Philosophy
The following reviews recent developments in the cognitive and evolutionary psychology of religion, and argues for an adaptationist stance. 

Evolutionary Science and the Study of Religion

In this article, the authors introduce the general rationale behind the evolutionary cognitive science of religion, answer some sensible humanistic objections to it and defend the promise of a

Introductory essay: Evolutionary science and the study of religion

In this article, we introduce the general rationale behind the evolutionary cognitive science of religion, answer some sensible humanistic objections to it and defend the promise of a ‘consilient’

Cognitive Science of Religion: State-of-the-Art

This article presents an introduction to the cognitive science of religion. It shows that CSR began with original theoretical approaches within the human sciences and has subsequently developed into

Theology in the age of cognitive science

ABSTRACT The cognitive science of religion sets out a naturalistic account of religion, in which religious phenomena are grounded in evolved cognitive and moral intuitions. This has important

The evolution of religious belief in humans: a brief review with a focus on cognition

This review explores developments in the evolutionary cognitive psychology of religion and provides critical evaluation of the different theoretical positions and concludes that the by-product camp enjoys the most support in the scientific community and suggests ways forward for an evolutionarily significant study of religion.

Inclusive fitness theory for the evolution of religion

The behavioral ecology of religion: the benefits and costs of one evolutionary approach

It is argued that despite its limitations, behavioral ecology can offer important benefits to religious scholarship by providing a coherent and powerful framework for generating, testing and discarding hypotheses about specific aspects of religious behaviors and cultures.

Origins of Religion, Cognition and Culture: Anthropomorphism in god concepts: the role of narrative

There is an emerging consensus among current, cognitive theories of religion that the detection and representation of intentional agents and their actions are fundamental to religion. By no means a

The natural foundations of religion

In the Natural history of religion, Hume attempts to understand the origin of our folk belief in gods and spirits. These investigations are not, however, purely descriptive. Hume demonstrates that



How Religion Works: Towards a New Cognitive Science of Religion

This book presents a detailed argument to support the view that religion as a cultural practice cannot be properly explained without knowledge of the evolved cognitive mechanisms by which humans

Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion

Religion is one of the most universal and most studied human phenomena, yet there exists no widely shared definition for it. This ambitious study provides and defends such a definition.

Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity

Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity. Roy A. Rappaport. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.536 pp.

Rethinking Religion: Connecting Cognition and Culture

This book is an ambitious attempt to develop a cognitive approach to religion. Focusing particularly on ritual action, it borrows analytical methods from linguistics and other cognitive sciences. The

Exploring the natural foundations of religion

  • J. Barrett
  • Philosophy
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences
  • 2000

Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought

The first classic of 21st-century anthropology."--John Tooby and Leda Cosmides, University of California, Santa Barbara. Many of our questions about religion, says renowned anthropologist Pascal

Explaining Religion: Criticism and Theory from Bodin to Freud

How is religion to be explained, if the existence of God is not a presupposition? According to J. Samuel Preus, this is the critical question that gave rise to the scientific study of religion and

The Naturalness of Religious Ideas: A Cognitive Theory of Religion

Why do people have religious ideas? And why thosereligious ideas? The main theme of Pascal Boyer's work is that important aspects of religious representations are constrained by universal properties

Signaling, solidarity, and the sacred: The evolution of religious behavior

These literatures are reviewed and both the proximate mechanisms and ultimate evolutionary processes essential for developing a comprehensive evolutionary explanation of religion are examined.

Producing the Sacred: An Essay on Public Religion

What is public religion? How does it manifest the sacred? Wuthnow states that cultural expressions, religious or otherwise, do not simply happen but are produced. He considers the major