Bringing Ritual to Mind
Psychological Foundations of Cultural Forms
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Bringing Ritual to Mind by Robert N. McCauley
Book DescriptionBringing Ritual to Mind explores the cognitive and psychological foundations of religious ritual systems. Participants must recall their rituals well enough to ensure a sense of continuity across performances, and those rituals must motivate them to transmit and re-perform them. Most religious rituals the world over exploit either high performance frequency or extraordinary emotional stimulation (but not both) to enhance their recollection (the availability of literacy has little impact on this). But why do some rituals exploit the first of these variables while others exploit the second? McCauley and Lawson advance the ritual form hypothesis, arguing that participants' cognitive representations of ritual form explain why. Reviewing evidence from cognitive, developmental and social psychology and from cultural anthropology and the history of religions, they utilize dynamical systems tools to explain the recurrent evolutionary trajectories religions exhibit.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521016292
(228mm x 152mm x 13mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 15-Aug-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Robert N. McCauley
Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not, Paperback (November 2013)
A comparison of the cognitive foundations of religion and science and an argument that religion is cognitively natural and that science is cognitively unnatural.
Dodging Bullets, Hardback (January 2000)
An entertaining summary of the broad reshaping of U.S. corporate finance in the last decade and a half.
Rethinking Religion, Paperback (January 1993)» View all books by Robert N. McCauley
'... a very important book that marks a turning point in the way anthropologists think about religious ideas and practices.' Pascal Boyer, American Anthropologist
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Author Biography - Robert N. McCauley
ROBERT N. MCCAULEY is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Emory College Center for Teaching and Curriculum, Emory University. E. THOMAS LAWSON is Professor of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University and executive editor of the Journal of Cognition and Culture.
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