Náboženské představy a jejich přenos: od mysli a obsahu k tělu a kontextu

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Title in English Religious ideas and their transmission: from mind and content to body and context


Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Pantheon: religionistický časopis
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Philosophy and religion
Keywords cognitive science of religion; religious ideas; religious belief; epidemiology of mental representations; minimally counterintuitive ideas; experimental methods; cognition and culture; memory
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Description The study summarizes the advances made in the study of the transmission of religious ideas within the Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR) over the last twenty years. This research subject represents an established theme from the beginnings of the CSR to the present day. The progressing research shifts from stressing the isolated cognitive aspects of religious ideas as distinctive class of mental representations within Sperber's epidemiological and Boyer's minimally counter­intuitiveness projects to the acknowledgement of the roles of body, social context and culture in explaining the successful transmission of religious ideas. The social and cultural context became an instrumental part of the way in which the beliefs are analytically metarepresented and these became influential explanatory factors in the scientific understanding of transmission processes in general. However, this does not mean any radical turn away from the cognitive towards the cultural, but rather it emphasizes the need for more complex but still testable models of religious ideas and their dissemination. This reflects a global trend in the CSR with a highlighted role for experimental methods, which proved to be very fruitful in the past. First of all, they helped the CSR to become more precise in formulating theories and models of religious ideas and opened the possibility of progressive explanatory research. Secondly, they brought the empirical psychological study of religion back into the scientific study of religion. On the other hand, the anthropological nature of the scientific study of religion helped to improve the laboratory experimental paradigm by making it more sensitive to cultural differences.
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