February 22, 2022 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Online and In Person

Prof. Neil Messer

On Tuesday 22nd February Prof. Neil Messer will be giving us a seminar talk entitled – Cognitive Science and religious faith. He will be joining us in person, in Cambridge. All attendees are kindly requested to be seated by 12:45pm in the KC Shasha Suite, Woolf Building, CB3 0UB.

To join us online for the talk followed by Q&A. A link to watch online will be made available the morning of the seminar.

Abstract: This paper will survey the cognitive science of religion (CSR) and related scientific approaches to the study of religious belief, experience and practice. It will raise the question what (if anything) these scientific studies of religion can contribute to a Christian theological understanding of ourselves and the world in relation to God. Various options for relating CSR to other sources of Christian self-understanding will be outlined. The paper will focus particularly on two alternative possibilities: first, that CSR has nothing to contribute to Christian theology; second, that it does have a genuine contribution to make, but for it to do so, the findings and claims of CSR must be critically appropriated to a theological understanding primarily shaped by the Christian tradition’s reading of and reflection on the Scriptures.