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Whose Theology? The Promise of Cognitive Theories and the Future of a Disputed Field

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AbstractWithin a general attempt to reconceptualise theology and its position in the modern university, the paper argues that the cognitive science of religion offers a great opportunity to modern theology to engage into interdisciplinary research that could be proven especially profitable to its future. By drawing examples from contemporary Greece and a religious ritual that is disputed by the official Christian Orthodox Church as well as from historical theology and the Arian controversy in the fourth century CE, I argue that Justin Barrett’s cognitive theory of religion, known as ‘Theological Correctness’, can provide to theology a useful tool in understanding the religious beliefs of everyday believers. Without discounting other methodologies, theories, and interpretations, this paper argues that there is space for cognitive theories within theological research that could only benefit theology and its future in the twenty-first century.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biblical & Ancient Studies, University of South AfricaP.O. Box 392, Pretoria 0003,


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