1st Edition

Religion as Magical Ideology
How the Supernatural Reflects Rationality

ISBN 9781844656448
Published August 20, 2014 by Routledge
192 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

'Religion as Magical Ideology' examines the relationship between rationality and supernatural beliefs arguing that such beliefs are products of evolution, cognition and culture. The book does not offer a false rapprochement between reason and religion; instead, it explores their interrelationship as a series of complex adaptations between cognitive and cultural processes. Exploring the nature of the tension between religious traditions and reason, 'Religion as Magical Ideology' develops a dual inheritance theory of religion - which combines the cognitive byproduct and prosocial adaptation accounts - and analyses the connection between the function of a belief and the degree of protection it gets from potential counter-evidence. With discussion ranging from individual cognitive mechanisms, general functional considerations, to the limits of evolutionary and cognitive processes, the book offers readers a systematic account of how cognition shapes religious beliefs and practices.

Table of Contents

Preface 1 Introduction 2 Superstitious reeds 3 The superempirical 4 Magic as cognitive byproduct 5 Religion as magical ideology 6 Religion as Ancestral trait Bibliography Index

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