Science and Religious Anthropology

A Spiritually Evocative Naturalist Interpretation of Human Life
Author: Wesley J. Wildman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317059077
Category: Religion
Page: 294
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Science and Religious Anthropology explores the convergence of the biological sciences, human sciences, and humanities around a spiritually evocative, naturalistic vision of human life. The disciplinary contributions are at different levels of complexity, from evolution of brains to existential longings, and from embodied sociality to ecosystem habitat. The resulting interpretation of the human condition supports some aspects of traditional theological thinking in the world's religious traditions while seriously challenging other aspects. Wesley Wildman draws out these implications for philosophical and religious anthropology and argues that the modern secular interpretation of humanity is most compatible with a religious form of naturalistic humanism. This book resists the reduction of meaning and value questions while taking scientific theories about human life with full seriousness. It argues for a religious interpretation of human beings as bodily creatures emerging within a natural environment that permits engagement with the valuational potentials of reality. This engagement promotes socially borne spiritual quests to realize and harmonize values in everything human beings do, from the forging of cultures to the crafting of personal convictions.

Religion and Science as Forms of Life

Anthropological Insights into Reason and Unreason
Author: Carles Salazar,Joan Bestard
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 1782384898
Category: Religion
Page: 238
View: 4663

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The relationships between science and religion are about to enter a new phase in our contemporary world, as scientific knowledge has become increasingly relevant in ordinary life, beyond the institutional public spaces where it traditionally developed. The purpose of this volume is to analyze the relationships, possible articulations and contradictions between religion and science as forms of life: ways of engaging human experience that originate in particular social and cultural formations. Contributions use this theoretical and ethnographic research to explore different scientific and religious cultures in the contemporary world.

Religion, Anthropology, and Cognitive Science


Author: Harvey Whitehouse,James Laidlaw
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Social Science
Page: 286
View: 624

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Part of the Ritual Studies Monograph Series, this book examines longstanding debates in the anthropology of religion concerning the connections between ritual and meaning, belief, politics, emotion, development, and gender. But it examines these old topics from a radically new perspective: that of the cognitive science of religion. As such the volume identifies potential solutions to established problems but it also sets out a program for future research in the field. The volume includes a substantial introduction from Harvey Whitehouse and James Laidlaw who highlight the connections between key issues in the history of religious anthropology and the latest findings of scientific psychology. This volume, they argue, presents us with potential solutions to old problems but also with a series of new and exciting challenges.

Mind, Brain and the Elusive Soul

Human Systems of Cognitive Science and Religion
Author: Dr Mark Graves
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 1409478009
Category: Religion
Page: 256
View: 8861

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Does science argue against the existence of the human soul? Many scientists and scholars believe the whole is more than the sum of the parts. This book uses information and systems theory to describe the "more" that does not reduce to the parts. One sees this in the synapses—or apparently empty gaps between the neurons in one's brain—where informative relationships give rise to human mind, culture, and spirituality. Drawing upon the disciplines of cognitive science, computer science, neuroscience, general systems theory, pragmatic philosophy, and Christian theology, Mark Graves reinterprets the traditional doctrine of the soul as form of the body to frame contemporary scientific study of the human soul.

Making Magic

Religion, Magic, and Science in the Modern World
Author: Randall Styers
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780195169416
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
Page: 290
View: 9383

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Randall Styers seeks to account for the vitality of scholarly discourse purporting to define and explain magic despite its failure to do just that. He argues that it can best be explained in light of the European and Euro-American drive to establish and secure their own identity as normative.

Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity


Author: Roy A. Rappaport
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521296908
Category: Religion
Page: 535
View: 9288

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Roy Rappaport argues that religion is central to the continuing evolution of life, although it has been been displaced from its original position of intellectual authority by the rise of modern science. His book, which could be construed as in some degree religious as well as about religion, insists that religion can and must be reconciled with science. Combining adaptive and cognitive approaches to the study of humankind, he mounts a comprehensive analysis of religion's evolutionary significance, seeing it as co-extensive with the invention of language and hence of culture as we know it. At the same time he assembles the fullest study yet of religion's main component, ritual, which constructs the conceptions which we take to be religious and has been central in the making of humanity's adaptation. The text amounts to a manual for effective ritual, illustrated by examples drawn from anthropology, history, philosophy, comparative religion, and elsewhere.

On the Margins of Religion


Author: Frances Pine,João de Pina-Cabral
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781845454098
Category: Social Science
Page: 286
View: 8341

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Focusing on places, objects, bodies, narratives and ritual spaces where religion may be found or inscribed, the authors reveal the role of religion in contesting rights to places, to knowledge and to property, as well as access to resources. Through analyses of specific historical processes in terms of responses to socio-economic and political change, the chapters consider implicitly or explicitly the problematic relation between science (including social sciences and anthropology in particular) and religion, and how this connects to the new religious globalisation of the twenty-first century. Their ethnographies highlight the embodiment of religion and its location in landscapes, built spaces and religious sites which may be contested, physically or ideologically, or encased in memory and often in silence. Taken together, they show the importance of religion as a resource to the believers: a source of solace, spiritual comfort and self-willed submission. Frances Pine was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, and a Professor at the Institute of Gender Research at the University of Bergen and is now at Goldsmiths University of London. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Poland over the past 25 years. She is the co-editor of Surviving Post Socialism (Routledge 1998) and Memory, Politics and Religion: the Past Meets the Present in Europe (LIT 2004), and author of numerous articles on kinship, economy and gender, eastern Europe, history, place and memory. João de Pina-Cabral is Research Coordinator at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon, where he has been the President of the Scientific Board for the past six years. He has carried out fieldwork and published extensively on Northwestern Portugal, Macau (south China) and Mozambique. His books in English include Sons of Adam, Daughters of Eve (Clarendon Press, Oxford), Between China and Europe (Continuum Books, LSE Monographs, London) and various co-edited volumes (JASO, Macmillan and Berg). He is presently the President of the European Association of Social Anthropologists.

Science and faith

the anthropology of Revelation
Author: Eric Lawrence Gans
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc
ISBN: N.A
Category: Religion
Page: 129
View: 3393

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Science and Faith explores the phenomenon of religious revelation in the light of the originary hypothesis, which postulates the origin of human language and culture in a unique event.

Science and Religion

East and West
Author: Yiftach Fehige
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317335236
Category: Religion
Page: 240
View: 9060

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This volume situates itself within the context of the rapidly growing interdisciplinary field that is dedicated to the study of the complex interactions between science and religion. It presents an innovative approach insofar as it addresses the Eurocentrism that is still prevalent in this field. At the same time it reveals how science develops in the space that emerges between the ‘local’ and the ‘global’. The volume examines a range of themes central to the interaction between science and religion: ‘Eastern’ thought within ‘Western’ science and religion and vice versa, and revisits thinkers who sought to integrate ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ thinking. It studies Zen Buddhism and its relation to psychotherapy, Islamic science, Vedantic science, atheism in India, and Darwinism, offering in turn new perspectives on a variety of approaches to nature. Part of the Science and Technology Studies series, this volume brings together original perspectives from major scholars from across disciplines and will be of great interest to scholars and students of science and technology studies, history of science, philosophy of science, religious studies, and sociology.

The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science


Author: Philip Clayton,Zachary Simpson
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780199279272
Category: Philosophy
Page: 1023
View: 3577

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The field of `science and religion' is exploding in popularity among both academics and the reading public. This is a comprehensive and authoritative introduction to the debate, written by the leading experts yet accessible to the general reader.

Cyborg Selves

A Theological Anthropology of the Posthuman
Author: Jeanine Thweatt-Bates
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317155165
Category: Religion
Page: 224
View: 9794

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What is the 'posthuman'? Is becoming posthuman inevitable-something which will happen to us, or something we will do to ourselves? Why do some long for it, while others fearfully reject it? These questions underscore the fact that the posthuman is a name for the unknown future, and therefore, not a single idea but a jumble of competing visions - some of which may be exciting, some of which may be frightening, and which is which depends on who you are, and what you desire to be. This book aims to clarify current theological and philosophical dialogue on the posthuman by arguing that theologians must pay attention to which form of the posthuman they are engaging, and to demonstrate that a 'posthuman theology' is not only possible, but desirable, when the vision of the posthuman is one which coincides with a theological vision of the human.

Medicine Between Science and Religion

Explorations on Tibetan Grounds
Author: Vincanne Adams,Mona Schrempf,Sienna R. Craig
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781845459741
Category: Social Science
Page: 324
View: 4093

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There is a growing interest in studies that document the relationship between science and medicine - as ideas, practices, technologies and outcomes - across cultural, national, geographic terrain. Tibetan medicine is not only known as a scholarly medical tradition among other Asian medical systems, with many centuries of technological, clinical, and pharmacological innovation; it also survives today as a complex medical resource across many Asian nations - from India and Bhutan to Mongolia, Tibet (TAR) and China, Buryatia - as well as in Western Europe and the Americas. The contributions to this volume explore, in equal measure, the impacts of western science and biomedicine on Tibetan grounds - i.e., among Tibetans across China, the Himalaya and exile communities as well as in relation to globalized Tibetan medicine - and the ways that local practices change how such "science" gets done, and how this continually hybridized medical knowledge is transmitted and put into practice. As such, this volume contributes to explorations into the bi-directional flows of medical knowledge and practice.

Religion Explained

The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought
Author: Pascal Boyer
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 046500461X
Category: Social Science
Page: 384
View: 604

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Many of our questions about religion, says renowned anthropologist Pascal Boyer, are no longer mysteries. We are beginning to know how to answer questions such as "Why do people have religion?" Using findings from anthropology, cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary biology, Religion Explained shows how this aspect of human consciousness is increasingly admissible to coherent, naturalistic explanation. This brilliant and controversial book gives readers the first scientific explanation for what religious feeling is really about, what it consists of, and where it comes from.

Ordinary Lives and Grand Schemes

An Anthropology of Everyday Religion
Author: Samuli Schielke,Liza Debevec
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 0857455079
Category: Social Science
Page: 174
View: 9715

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Everyday practice of religion is complex in its nature, ambivalent and at times contradictory. The task of an anthropology of religious practice is therefore precisely to see how people navigate and make sense of that complexity, and what the significance of religious beliefs and practices in a given setting can be. Rather than putting everyday practice and normative doctrine on different analytical planes, the authors argue that the articulation of religious doctrine is also an everyday practice and must be understood as such.

Encounters of Body and Soul in Contemporary Religious Practices

Anthropological Reflections
Author: Anna Fedele,Ruy Llera Blanes
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 0857452088
Category: Social Science
Page: 252
View: 3258

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Social scientists and philosophers confronted with religious phenomena have always been challenged to find a proper way to describe the spiritual experiences of the social group they were studying. The influence of the Cartesian dualism of body and mind (or soul) led to a distinction between non-material, spiritual experiences (i.e., related to the soul) and physical, mechanical experiences (i.e., related to the body). However, recent developments in medical science on the one hand and challenges to universalist conceptions of belief and spirituality on the other have resulted in "body" and "soul" losing the reassuring solid contours they had in the past. Yet, in "Western culture," the body–soul duality is alive, not least in academic and media discourses. This volume pursues the ongoing debates and discusses the importance of the body and how it is perceived in contemporary religious faith: what happens when "body" and "soul" are un-separated entities? Is it possible, even for anthropologists and ethnographers, to escape from "natural dualism"? The contributors here present research in novel empirical contexts, the benefits and limits of the old dichotomy are discussed, and new theoretical strategies proposed.

Ritual and Memory

Toward a Comparative Anthropology of Religion
Author: Harvey Whitehouse,James Laidlaw
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
ISBN: 0759115443
Category: Religion
Page: 230
View: 7815

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Ethnographers of religion have created a vast record of religious behavior from small-scale non-literate societies to globally distributed religions in urban settings. So a theory that claims to explain prominent features of ritual, myth, and belief in all contexts everywhere causes ethnographers a skeptical pause. In Ritual and Memory, however, a wide range of ethnographers grapple critically with Harvey Whitehouse's theory of two divergent modes of religiosity. Although these contributors differ in their methods, their areas of fieldwork, and their predisposition towards Whitehouse's cognitively-based approach, they all help evaluate and refine Whitehouse's theory and so contribute to a new comparative approach in the anthropology of religion.

A Teacher’s Guide to Science and Religion in the Classroom


Author: Berry Billingsley,Manzoorul Abedin,Keith Chappell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315451956
Category: Education
Page: 180
View: 3589

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A Teacher’s Guide to Science and Religion in the Classroom provides practical guidance on how to help children access positive ways of thinking about the relationship between science and religion. Written for teachers of children from diverse-faith and non-faith backgrounds, it explores key concepts, identifies gaps and common misconceptions in children’s knowledge, and offers advice on how to help them form a deeper understanding of both science and religion. Drawing on the latest research as well as the designs of successful workshops for teachers and for children, there are activities in each chapter that have been shown to help children understand why science and religion do not necessarily conflict. The book highlights children’s interest in the so-called "Big Questions" that bridge science and religion and responds to the research finding that most children are missing ideas that are key to an explanation of why science and religion can be harmonious. The book explores key concepts and ideas including: Nature of science Power and limits of science Evolution, genes and human improvement Miracles, natural disasters and mystery Profiles of scientists, including Galileo and Newton A Teacher’s Guide to Science and Religion is an essential companion for preservice and practising teachers, providing session plans and pedagogic strategies, together with a cohesive framework, that will support teachers in fostering children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.

Religion Explained?

The Cognitive Science of Religion after Twenty-five Years
Author: Luther H. Martin,Donald Wiebe
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1350032484
Category: Science
Page: 272
View: 9538

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With contributions from founders of the field, including Justin Barrett, E. Thomas Lawson, Robert N. McCauley, Paschal Boyer, Armin Geertz and Harvey Whitehouse, as well as from younger scholars from successive stages in the field's development, this is an important survey of the first twenty-five years of the cognitive science of religion. Each chapter provides the author's views on the contributions the cognitive science of religion has made to the academic study of religion, as well as any shortcomings in the field and challenges for the future. Religion Explained? The Cognitive Science of Religion after Twenty-five Years calls attention to the field whilst providing an accessible and diverse survey of approaches from key voices, as well as offering suggestions for further research within the field. This book is essential reading for anyone in religious studies, anthropology, and the scientific study of religion.

The Slain God

Anthropologists and the Christian Faith
Author: Timothy Larsen
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191632058
Category: Religion
Page: 272
View: 4008

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Throughout its entire history, the discipline of anthropology has been perceived as undermining, or even discrediting, Christian faith. Many of its most prominent theorists have been agnostics who assumed that ethnographic findings and theories had exposed religious beliefs to be untenable. E. B. Tylor, the founder of the discipline in Britain, lost his faith through studying anthropology. James Frazer saw the material that he presented in his highly influential work, The Golden Bough, as demonstrating that Christian thought was based on the erroneous thought patterns of 'savages.' On the other hand, some of the most eminent anthropologists have been Christians, including E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Mary Douglas, Victor Turner, and Edith Turner. Moreover, they openly presented articulate reasons for how their religious convictions cohered with their professional work. Despite being a major site of friction between faith and modern thought, the relationship between anthropology and Christianity has never before been the subject of a book-length study. In this groundbreaking work, Timothy Larsen examines the point where doubt and faith collide with anthropological theory and evidence.