The Naturalness of Religious Ideas: A Cognitive Theory of Religion

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University of California Press, Feb 3, 1994 - Social Science - 342 pages
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Why do people have religious ideas? And why thosereligious ideas? The main theme of Pascal Boyer's work is that important aspects of religious representations are constrained by universal properties of the human mind-brain. Experimental results from developmental psychology, he says, can explain why certain religious representations are more likely to be acquired, stored, and transmitted by human minds. Considering these universal constraints, Boyer proposes an exciting new answer to the question of why similar religious representations are found in so many different cultures. His work will be widely discussed by cultural anthropologists, psychologists, and students of religion, history, and philosophy.
 

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Contents

I
3
II
29
III
61
IV
91
V
125
VI
155
VII
185
VIII
227
IX
263
X
297
XI
315
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Page ix - The process of cultural acquisition inevitably operates a selection in the available cultural output. The outcome of this selection is that certain features are recurrent because they are more likely to be entertained, acquired, and transmitted by human minds

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About the author (1994)

Pascal Boyer, Senior Research Fellow in Cultural Anthropology at King's College, University of Cambridge, is the author of Tradition as Truth and Communication (1990).

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