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  • Author or Editor: Flavio A. Geisshuesler x
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Italian Perspectives on Apocalypse and Rebirth in the Modern Study of Religion
In The Life and Work of Ernesto de Martino, Flavio A. Geisshuesler offers a comprehensive study of one of Italy’s most colorful historians of religions. The book inserts de Martino’s dramatic life trajectory within the intellectual climate and the socio-political context of his age in order to offer a fresh perspective on the evolution of the discipline of religious studies during the 20th century. Demonstrating that scholarship on religion was animated by moments of fear of the apocalypse, it brings de Martino’s perspective into conversation with Mircea Eliade, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Clifford Geertz in order to recover an Italian approach that promises to redeem religious studies as a relevant and revitalizing field of research in the contemporary climate of crisis.

Abstract

This article proposes a 7E model of the human mind, which was developed within the cognitive paradigm in religious studies and its primary expression, the Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR). This study draws on the philosophically most sophisticated currents in the cognitive sciences, which have come to define the human mind through a 4E model as embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended. Introducing Catherine Malabou’s concept of “plasticity,” the study not only confirms the insight of the 4E model of the self as a decentered system, but it also recommends two further traits of the self that have been overlooked in the cognitive sciences, namely the negativity of plasticity and the tension between giving and receiving form. Finally, the article matures these philosophical insights to develop a concrete model of the religious mind, equipping it with three further Es, namely emotional, evolved, and exoconscious.

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture