By-Product Gods: A Study of the Underlying Cognit..., 7 August 2009

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Title
By-Product Gods: A Study of the Underlying Cognitive Processes Responsible for the Conceptualization and Transmission of Real-Time God Concepts
Date
20090807
Material Type
Undergraduate Research
Creator/Author
Powell, Amanda
Copyright
Copyright 2009 by Amanda Powell. This material is copyrighted, and any further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without the permission of the copyright owner.
Peer-reviewed
Non peer-reviewed
Subject
God concept; Conceptualization;Transmission; Comparative religion; Cognitive science; Religion; Religions; God; Gods; Concepts;
Description
Comparative religion scholars in the past have explored differences between various religious traditions but have provided little information regarding fundamental similarities. By employing the cognitive science of religion, this project sought to examine the universal conceptualization and transmission of real-time god concepts. The methodology for completing this research involved the examination and analysis of literature surrounding three god concepts including Amida Buddha, Coyote, and the Christian Trinity. Deconstruction of each concept was used to analyze the cognitive process of conceptualization and compared that process with current theories explaining conceptualization. Evidence of violations and transferences of the person ontology were necessary to examine conceptualization of the counterintuitive concepts. Transmission of the god concepts was explored by examining practices and beliefs associated with the god concepts and evaluating whether these beliefs and practices minimized counterintuitive characteristics. The research suggested that practices and beliefs may successfully minimize counterintuitive characteristics allowing the believer to conceptualize each god in a way that does not overload capacity and in turn hinder the cognitive processes necessary for transmission. McNair Scholar project. Faculty Advisor: Todd Tremlin.
Language
English
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