Cognitive Science and the New Testament : A New Approach to Early Christian Research
Oxford Univ Pr 2017/03
271 p. 24 cm
This work demonstrates the value of applying the insights of cognitive science to biblical studies, mirroring the so-called cognitive turn seen in disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, and philosophy as well as the more recent emergence of the cognitive science of religion.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1: A Cognitive Turn 1.1: Opening the black box 1.2: The human mind: Basic questions 1.3: Cognitive Science of Religion 1.4: Cognitive science and the study of the New Testament 2: Evolution 2.1: A very short introduction to evolutionary theory 2.2: Genetic inheritance and religion 2.2.1: Hypersensitive agent-detection 2.2.2: Theory of Mind 2.2.3: Teleological reasoning 2.2.4: Expectations about ontological categories 2.2.5: Recursion 2.2.6: Emotions 2.2.7: Adaptations for cooperation 2.2.8: Traits favored by sexual selection 2.2.9: Group selection 2.3: Epigenetic inheritance in religion 2.4: Behavioral inheritance and religion 2.5: Symbolic inheritance and religion 2.6: Excursus: Epidemiology and memetics 2.7: Conclusion 3: The Human Brain: A Guided Tour 3.1: Brain and mind: same or different? 3.2: The anatomy of the human brain 3.3: Are all brains alike? 4: Memory and transmission 4.1: Memory in the brain 4.2: Chunks of information 4.3: Mental schemata 4.4: Narrative schemata: Scripts 4.5: Serial recall 4.6: Memory and emotions 4.7: Selective processes in transmission 4.8: Memory and literacy in antiquity 4.9: Memory and the New Testament: Some reflections 5: Ritual 5.1: What is ritual? 5.2: Acting without practical purpose 5.3: Ritual as the foundation of society 5.4: Ritual as a tool of cultural transmission 5.5: Ritual as a means of changing the state of affairs 5.6: Encountering the Holy 5.7: Conclusion 6: Magic and Miracle 6.1: Magic as an academic concept 6.2: Magic and superstitious conditioning 6.3: How people think about magic 6.4: The appeal of miracle stories 6.5: Miracle and culture 6.6: Example: Paul in Ephesus 6.7: Conclusion 7: Religious experience 7.1: Subjective religious experience 7.2: Religious experience in context 7.3: The Lobes Theory of religious experience 7.4: The Lobes Theory and the Corinthian church 7.5: Tours of heaven 7.6: Neuroscientific explanations of extreme religious experience 7.7: Toward a neuroscientific model of the narrative structure of the tours 7.8: Example: The tour of heaven in the Ascension of Isaiah 7.9: Conclusion 8: Morality 8.1: Empathy and morality 8.2: Religion from evolved morality 8.3: Morality from religion 8.4: Morality and exploitation 8.5: Imitating moral examples 8.6: Conclusion 9: Social networks and computer models 9.1: Computer models of religion 9.2: Weak social ties in emerging Christianity 9.3: Modeling the spread of Christianity 9.4: Learning from the Mission model 9.5: Patterns of conversion 9.6: Conclusions 10: Hermeneutical reflections 10.1: The text as window 10.2: Text as mirror 10.3: Text as image Bibliography