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No Field Is an Island: Fostering Collaboration between the Academic Study of Religion and the Sciences

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image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

We can foster collaboration between the academic study of religion and the sciences, particularly the biological and psychological sciences, if we (1) construct a common object of study that can be positioned within an evolutionary paradigm, (2) adopt a building block approach to the study of religion that distinguishes between religions and the more elementary phenomena that comprise them, and (3) operationalize abstract concepts as behavioral interactions in order to gain a better understanding of the process whereby people construct religions and other complex things out of more elementary phenomena that they view as special.<xref ref-type="fn" rid="FN1">1</xref>

Affiliations: 1: Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3130 USA, Email:


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