Mind the (unbridgeable) gaps a cautionary tale about pseudoscientific distortions and scientific misconceptions in the study of religion

In this paper, I explore two of the most pernicious kinds of scientific distortions and misconceptions pertinent to the study of religion (i.e., pseudoscientific trends focused on allegedly paranormal/supernatural phenomena and discontinuity between human and non-human cognition), arguing that: a) t...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Ambasciano, Leonardo (Author)
Format: Print Article
Language:English
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Published: [2016]
In:Method & theory in the study of religion
Year: 2016, Volume: 28, Issue: 2, Pages: 141-225
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Kognitive Religionswissenschaft / Natural sciences / Pseudo-science / Evolution
Further subjects:B Anthropocentrism
B Science
B Cognitive science
B cognitive science of religion
B evolution
B Pseudoscience
B history of religions
B paranormal
B Religion / Study & teaching
Description
Summary:In this paper, I explore two of the most pernicious kinds of scientific distortions and misconceptions pertinent to the study of religion (i.e., pseudoscientific trends focused on allegedly paranormal/supernatural phenomena and discontinuity between human and non-human cognition), arguing that: a) the adherence to the prestigious reputation of Eliadean academic frameworks may still cause grave distortions in the comprehension of relevant scientific fields; b) a reliance on cognition alone does not guarantee ipso facto a more epistemically warranted study of religion; c) an evolutionary and cognitively continuist approach to the study of religion is, instead, the most promising and fundamental scholarly tool to bridge the gap between the humanities and the natural sciences, even though it remains a long-term goal; d) the obsolete language of "aboriginal cultures" as open-air museums for our past is rooted in the aforementioned misconceptions and, though basically flawed, is still very much alive.
ISSN:0943-3058