Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

How Not to Do the Cognitive Science of Religion Today

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

This article is a critical examination of Dennett's book Breaking the Spell. The main argument is that there are good and effective ways of doing the cognitive science of religion and there are poor and ineffective ways of doing it. Dennett's book is poorly done on a number of fronts: it is exceedingly hostile and rhetorical, thus missing the public audience he wishes to persuade, it is arrogant towards and shows clear ignorance of the professional study of religion, and it poorly represents serious cognitive science of religion. Furthermore, Dennett ignores the vast amount of literature on the very subjects that worry him the most, namely, fundamentalism, terror, violence, bigotry, deception, oppression, rape, child abuse, and false beliefs—all of which are not necessarily related to religion, on which he is silent. He also leaves untouched the literature on a number of subjects highly relevant to his evolutionary scenario, such as the evolution of consciousness, theories of memory, the role of narrative, the development of persons and selves, embodied cognition, extended mind, etc.

Affiliations: 1: Department of the Study of Religion, University of Aarhus, Taasingegade 3, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Method & Theory in the Study of Religion — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation