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Die kognitionswissenschaftliche Erforschung von Religion

Christian M. Prager
Zeitschrift für Ethnologie
Bd. 135, H. 2 (2010), pp. 219-232
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25843223
Page Count: 14
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Die kognitionswissenschaftliche Erforschung von Religion
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Abstract

The purpose of this review paper is to discuss the relevance of cognitive science to the field of cultural anthropology with special emphasis on religious studies. Cognition as the mental capacity to represent and process information is a striking part the mental apparatus. It is concerned with the manner in which people represent and interpret their natural, social and cultural environment. According to the standard model in the social sciences only socio-cultural factors could explain cultural and religious phenomena — its natural foundations, however, have been largely ignored so far and mark the focus of the cognitive science of cultural studies. According to this view culture can also be regarded as constellations of mental and public representations communicated and regulated by human minds. Thus, a cognitive science of culture and religion differs from the social science standard model by insisting that both domains are to be understood by-products of ordinary cognitive processes and a cognitive science of culture and religion seeks to explain the natural foundations of culture that also includes religious phenomena.

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