Home Annual Meeting Call for Papers Groups Cognitive Science of Religion
January 2013

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Call for Proposals

This Group welcomes proposals for individual papers or sessions on any aspect of the cognitive science of religion. Topics of particular interest include:

  • Research that tests extant theories in the cognitive science of religion (scheduled either as a regular session or in our Research Forums, publicized to our e-mail list, and possibly cosponsored with the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion)

  • New tools for quantitative analysis of religious texts

  • Explorations in cross-cultural research

  • For a possible cosponsored session with the Science, Technology, and Religion Group, critical analysis of the “naturalness of religion versus unnaturalness of science” — claim(s) made in the recent book by Robert N. McCauley, Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not (Oxford University Press, 2011)

  • The use of phylogenetic or other mathematical modeling techniques

  • For a possible cosponsored session with the Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence Group, religion and conflict

  • Morality, empathy, and religion

  • Topics that would be appropriate for a cosponsored session with the Psychology, Culture, and Religion Group

The Group’s blog describes how proposals are evaluated and can be used as a forum for coordinating organized sessions or Research Forums.


This Group is dedicated to advancing cognitive scientific approaches to the study of religion in a critically informed, historically responsible manner. “Cognitive science” designates a broadly interdisciplinary approach to the study of the mind that integrates research from the neurosciences, psychology (including developmental, cognitive, evolutionary, and social psychology), anthropology, and philosophy. The main goal of this Group is to bring together cognitive scientists, historians of religion, ethnographers, empirically-oriented theologians, and philosophers of religion to explore applications of cognitive science to religious phenomena, as well as religious insights into the study of the human mind. We wish to consider ways in which historical and ethnographic data can be used to test theories and discuss theoretical and methodological concerns that are directly relevant to study design and data interpretation.

Anonymity of Review Process

Proposer names are visible to Chairs but anonymous to Steering Committee members.


Jason Slone
Tiffin University
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Claire White
Queen's University, Belfast
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Method of Submission


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