By Robert N. McCauley

ISBN-10: 0511020767

ISBN-13: 9780511020766

ISBN-10: 0521016290

ISBN-13: 9780521016292

ISBN-10: 0521815592

ISBN-13: 9780521815598

This research explores the mental foundations of non secular ritual platforms. In perform, members bear in mind rituals to make sure a feeling of continuity throughout performances, and people rituals inspire them to transmit and re-perform them. such a lot non secular rituals take advantage of both excessive functionality frequency or outstanding emotional stimulation to reinforce their recollection. Robert N. McCauley and E. Thomas Lawson assert that individuals' cognitive representations of formality shape clarify a lot in regards to the structures. Reviewing quite a lot of facts, they clarify religions' evolution.

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Specifically, the initial appearance of a CPS-agent in a ritual’s full structural description is the entry whose connection with some element in the current ritual involves the fewest enabling rituals. For example, in a Christian baptism at least the priest (the agent) and the water (the instrument) have ritually mediated connections with God. The priest’s connection is more direct, however, since it is mediated by fewer enabling rituals. 3 Typology of religious ritual forms ritual mediation in order to achieve its special status, which arises, after all, because it was a priest who consecrated it.

Boyer has supplied considerable experimental evidence that the concepts of CPS-agents that populate religious conceptual schemes have precisely such cognitive appeal. To summarize, then, because of our species’ long history as both predators and prey, we detect more agency in our environments than conditions warrant. The HADD generates many false positives, most of which human beings debunk straightaway. Some, however, survive, because humans associate them with concepts that, as Boyer argues, possess cognitive appeal.

3, which employs the same numbering of types as figure 17 on pp. ) The most important point about this figure, for our purposes in this book, is simply to distinguish the two kinds of ritual profiles, namely rituals of special agent profiles (which are always rituals of odd-numbered types) and rituals of special instrument and special patient profiles (which are always rituals of even-numbered types). The principal sources of complexity in rituals’ full structural descriptions concern the number and locations of embedded rituals.

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Bringing Ritual to Mind: Psychological Foundations of Cultural Forms by Robert N. McCauley


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