Dr. Jonathan Jong is a Research Fellow at Coventry University, and Deputy Director of the Brain, Belief and Behaviour group there. He is also a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford. Most of his current research is on the psychology of religion and the philosophical issues associated with the scientific study of religion. The Doctor is also a Reverend and Associate Priest at the parish church of St Mary Magdalen, Oxford and the Web Editor for the St Mary Magdalen School of Theology.

In this conversation we talked about…

  • what is the scientific study of religion?
  • what of religion is available to science?
  • the role of humility in theological speculation
  • how does cognitive science describe the origin of religion?
  • what are the two big approaches to understanding the evolutionary origin of religion?
  • how the relationship of our cognitive mechanisms and culture work together
  • the role and function of culture in shaping humanity’s religious disposition
  • the problem of assessing a Christian account of theism with cognitive science
  • how does a historically situated account of revelation impact the way you understand revelation?
  • we discuss the role of reading and ritual experience in shaping the content of faith
  • how the manner in which you engage the scripture changes the text itself
  • what does cognitive psychology teach us about passing on the faith?
  • is God real?
  • “I think the church leadership has not woken up to the fact we don’t live in the Middle Ages anymore.”
  • what are the ethical challenges raised by the cultural appropriation of mindfulness meditation?
  • what is terror management theory?
  • what is a death cafe?

 

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