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Title: The Cultural Transmission Of Faith: Why innate intuitions are necessary, but insufficient, to explain religious belief
Authors: Gervais, WM
Willard, AK
Norenzayan, A
Henrich, J
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Religion, 2011, 41 (3), pp. 389 - 410
Abstract: The cognitive science of religion integrates insights from diverse scientific disciplines to explain how people acquire, represent and transmit religious concepts. This perspective has led to a fruitful research program on the naturalistic origins of religion. However, it has thus far not directly addressed a key component of religion: faith or committed belief. The present review proposes a framework that integrates standard approaches from the cognitive science of religion with established models of cultural evolution and cultural learning. According to this synthetic approach, innate cognitive content biases explain how people mentally represent gods, and cultural evolutionary models explain why people come to believe and commit to the particular supernatural beliefs that they do. This synthesis offers a more complete picture of the origins and cultural persistence of religious belief. © 2011 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
ISSN: 0048-721X
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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