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Introduction: Social And Cognitive Perspectives In The Study Of Christian Origins And Early Judaism

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book Explaining Christian Origins and Early Judaism; Contributions from Cognitive and Social Science briefly elaborates on three points. First, the cognitive science of religion has introduced concepts, perspectives, and theories which may be fruitfully applied to the study of early Judaism and early Christianity and which may open up new perspectives in research. Second, the emergence of social-scientific approaches in biblical studies during recent decades has left us with some unanswered and nagging questions. Third, social-scientific exegesis has utilized theories that have obvious connections to cognitive psychology and to questions that the pioneers of the cognitive science of religion have also touched upon. The chapter also provides examples of how theories and models developed thus far have been utilized or might be utilized in the historical study of religions, such as early Judaism and early Christianity.

Keywords: biblical studies; cognitive science; early Christianity; early Judaism; social science



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