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Edited by Anders Klostergaard Petersen, Gilhus Ingvild Sælid, Luther H. Martin, Jeppe Sinding Jensen and Jesper Sørensen

Evolution, Cognition, and the History of Religion: A New Synthesis comprises 41 chapters that push for a new way of conducting the study of religion, thereby, transforming the discipline into a genuine science of religion. The recent resurgence of evolutionary approaches on culture and the increasing acknowledgement in the natural and social sciences of culture’s and religion’s evolutionary importance calls for a novel epistemological and theoretical framework for studying these two areas. The chapters explore how a new scholarly synthesis, founded on the triadic space constituted by evolution, cognition, cultural and ecological environment, may develop. Different perspectives and themes relating to this overarching topic are taken up with a main focus on either evolution, cognition, and/or the history of religion.


Edited by Jason N. Blum

The traditions and institutions that we call religions abound with references to the supernatural: ancestral spirits, karma, the afterlife, miracles, revelation, deities, etc. How are students of religion to approach the behaviors, doctrines, and beliefs that refer to such phenomena, which by their very nature are supposed to defy the methods of empirical research and the theories of historical scholarship? That is the question of methodological naturalism. The Question of Methodological Naturalism offers ten thoughtful engagements with that perennial question for the academic study of religion. Contributors include established senior scholars and newer voices propounding a range of perspectives, resulting in both surprising points of convergence and irreconcilable differences in how our shared discipline should be conceptualized and practiced.


Steven J. McMichael, o.f.m. Conv.

includes “discussions of basic tenets of belief such as the nature of Christ, transubstantiation, and redemption.” 4 Bartholomew is credited with being “a learned man, and he brought to bear on his book an impressive command of Scripture, the works of the fathers of the Church, and the major theologians


Joseph P. Chinnici, o.f.m.

beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being.” 29 These biblical and patristic beliefs foreshadow a political economy that would fully emerge in the merchant and city-state world in which Francis of Assisi lived. Foundational Principles and the Contemporary World This deep


Hartmut Rudolph

Scriptures, particularly of the Pauline epistles, in a theological understanding and even about how to define the essence of Christian belief. The problem is pressing because, in any case, the definition of the ecclesia as a persona civilis cannot be founded either on the above-mentioned passages in the


Mark W. Elliott

Menschengeschlechts (1780). The argument therein is that the Israelites’ monotheism was a hard-won, inductively arrived at belief, and it took Babylonian captivity to persuade them that God was not merely “first among many” 16 According to Lessing, historical criticism removes the ‘stones’ of the letter, the better


Stephen F. Brown

must needs be an eternal one; but another to know in what way this belief itself may both help the pious, and be defended against the impious, which last the Apostle seems to call by the special name of science [ scientia ]. ‘Theology’ for Durandus has yet a third meaning. He describes it as “a lasting


Richard A. Muller

address this problem and to show that neither the genuine truths that pagan philosophy has discovered nor rational conclusions drawn from the natural order are contrary to faith—nor indeed are the “common notions” possess naturally by all human beings enemies of faith. General human belief in God and in


Philip Benedict and Nicolas Fornerod

belief, and the refusal to restrict access to the Lord’s Supper via a system of church discipline. Most of the cases in which deviancy was alleged involve charges of infractions against lesser rules of church discipline. Quite a few cases where rivals were accused of improperly appropriating the title of