Moreover, developmental studies show that young infants are sensitive to inequity. For example, Sloane, Baillargeon, and Premack found that month-old children expected an experimenter to reward each of two individuals when both had worked at an assigned task, but not when one of the individuals had done all the work. Baumard, Mascaro, and Chevallier found that 3- and 4-year-old children were able to take merit into account by distributing tokens according to individual contributions.
Intellectual and Spiritual Formation
Finally, an evolutionary model should clearly specify the adaptive advantage conferred by the candidate foundation upon individuals who bore it in the ancestral past as Graham et al. Fairness meets this criterion nicely. Although Saroglou provides a valuable synthesis of previous taxonomies of core religious dimensions, in our view, the dimensions he settles on Believing, Bonding, Behaving, Belonging do not correspond well to evolved cognitive systems, so are not good candidates for religious foundations.
There are at least two important and potentially dissociable supernatural concepts here: the notion of supernatural agency , on the one hand e. These consequences may be mediated by supernatural agents, as when gods bestow rewards or dispense punishments in this life or the next; but they may also reflect the impersonal unfolding of a cosmic principle e. Moreover, supernatural agents are not necessarily in the business of attending to our behaviors and implementing relevant consequences—as we shall review, gods vary in their concerns with human affairs in general and with moral issues more specifically.
In view of these various considerations, one could posit not one but two distinct dimensions of supernatural belief here: a supernatural agency, and b supernatural justice. Rather than take this route, our preference is to specify a small subset of evolved cognitive systems that, jointly or in isolation, would account for why these dimensions are cross-culturally and historically recurrent. Here we discuss five strong candidates for religious foundationhood: a a system specialized for the detection of agents ; b a system devoted to representing, inferring, and predicting the mental states of intentional agents; c a system geared toward producing teleofunctional explanations of objects and events; d a system specialized for affiliating with groups through the imitation of causally opaque action sequences; and e a system specialized for the detection of genetic kinship.
Like proponents of MFT, we do not claim that this list is exhaustive, and future research may suggest alternative, or additional, candidates when relevant, we discuss current alternate views. Nevertheless, based on an extensive review of the cognitive science of religion literature, the following represent the most plausible candidates for universal religious foundations, on current evidence.
This logic has been used to undergird an influential claim in the cognitive science of religion. Guthrie has argued that for humans in the ancestral past, mistaking an agent e. Humans should therefore be equipped by natural selection with biased agency-detection mechanisms—what J. HADDs are often described as perceptual mechanisms, devices biased toward the perception of agents in ambiguous stimulus configurations. A by-product of their functioning would be a tendency toward false positives e.
A broader conception of HADDs includes attributions of nonrandom structure Bloom, —such as naturally occurring patterns and events with no clear physical cause—to the activity of agents. In other words, HADDs are a suite of hypothetical devices specialized for perceiving either agents or their effects. Such notions, once posited, would be attention grabbing, memorable, and thus highly transmissible because of their resonance with intuitive cognitive structures such as HADDs J. Barrett, ; J. Indeed, just as the cultural success of high-heeled shoes may owe to the fact that they function as supernormal stimuli insofar as they exaggerate sex specific aspects of female gait; Morris et al.
At present, the evidence for a connection between supernatural concepts and beliefs and agency cognition is mixed. Meanwhile Riekki, Lindeman, Aleneff, Halme, and Nuortimo found that religious believers showed more of a bias than nonbelievers to indicate that photographs of inanimate scenes e. In all of these studies, agency detection was a measured variable. As far as we are aware, to date, no published study has investigated whether manipulating cues of agency e. Given the hypothesized causal route whereby agency detection biases predispose humans to acquire beliefs in religious concepts , this may be a fruitful avenue for future research.
For example, functional MRI experiments with religious participants have shown that religious belief Kapogiannis et al. Finally, Norenzayan, Gervais, and Trzesniewski found that autistic participants expressed less belief in God than did matched neurotypical controls.
In follow-up studies using nonclinical samples, these authors found that higher autism scores predicted lower belief in God, a relationship mediated by mentalizing abilities. ToM is also thought to play an important role in afterlife beliefs. It has been suggested, for example, that people spontaneously infer that dead relatives and friends are still present, even in the absence of cultural inputs to support such ideas.
The idea is that although we can simulate the loss of perceptual capacities like sight and hearing simply by covering the relevant organs the eyes and the ears , we cannot simulate the absence of thoughts, desires, memories, and so on. Even people who hold explicitly extinctivist beliefs e. The root of this, Bering argues, is that humans have dedicated cognitive machinery for reasoning about mental states, which, unlike our capacities for reasoning about the mechanical and biological properties of bodies, cannot conceptualize total system failure.
For example, participants should be unable to fully appreciate that people lack conscious experiences when under general anesthesia, or that inanimate objects such as carpets and kitchen utensils lack such experiences. Although we think this is implausible, it is an empirical question whether continuity judgments can be elicited in such scenarios.
We note in this connection that recent research on pre life beliefs in Ecuadorian children indicates that, until about 9 to 10 years of age, they ascribe several biological and psychological capacities to their prelife selves; moreover, older children, who ascribe fewer capacities to themselves overall, are still more likely to ascribe certain mental states—in particular, emotional and desire states—to their prelife selves than other mental states e.
Another foundational cognitive predisposition where religion is concerned may be a tendency to favor teleofunctional reasoning. Research by Kelemen and colleagues e. Although it may be tempting to think that this teleological bias is attributable simply to acquisition of a creationist worldview e. If so, this tendency may render notions of intelligent supernatural designers, who have created the world and everything in it for a purpose, especially compelling Kelemen, To the extent that this relational-deictic stance represents a cognitive default, however, it may still serve as a strong foundation for religious cultural notions.
In particular, although we agree with Ojalehto et al. Humans often imitate each other without knowing why—that is, with little or no understanding of how the actions contribute to goals. Causal opacity of this kind is a hallmark feature of ritualized behavior. In rituals, the relationship between actions and stated goals if indeed they are stated at all cannot, even in principle , be specified in physical—causal terms P. Social anthropologists have often observed that ritual participants are powerless to explain why they carry out their distinctive procedures and ceremonies, appealing only to tradition or the ancestors.
Imitation of causally opaque behavior is a distinctively human trait. None of the other great apes shows a marked interest in devising highly stylized procedures and bodily adornments and using these to demarcate and affiliate with cultural groups. Because rituals lack overt usefulness, most animals would not see any value in copying them. Yet by meticulously conforming to arbitrary social conventions, human groups bind themselves together into cooperative units facilitating cooperation on a scale that is very rare in nature.
From an evolutionary perspective, deriving the benefits of group living requires a means of identifying ingroup members the ones you should cooperate with and out-groups people you should avoid or compete with. One solution is to have a distinctive set of group conventions or rituals of course, there are other means too, e.
Indeed, the willingness to copy arbitrary conventions is essential for acquiring language requiring us to accept that arbitrary utterances refer to stable features of the world around us, not because there is a causal relationship between the sound and the thing it refers to, but simply because that is the accepted convention. Herrmann et al. Inclusive fitness theory predicts that organisms will behave in ways that preferentially benefit kin, with more benefits conferred as the degree of genetic relatedness between the actor and the recipient increases Hamilton, Mechanisms for recognizing and calibrating kinship are critical for such behaviors to evolve and can be classified as one of two broad types: those that exploit direct, phenotypic cues e.
According to Lieberman, Tooby, and Cosmides , cues indicative of kinship are taken as input by two separate motivational systems. As Pinker points out, kin recognition in humans depends on cues in particular, linguistic cues that others can manipulate:. Thus people are also altruistic toward their adoptive relatives, and toward a variety of fictive kin such as brothers in arms, fraternities and sororities, occupational and religious brotherhoods, crime families, fatherlands, and mother countries.
These faux families may be created by metaphors, simulacra of family experiences, myths of common descent or common flesh, and other illusions of kinship. Cultural manipulations of kinship detection machinery may be rife in ritualistic behavior. As Saroglou notes, religious rituals serve to bond ritual participants together. Such rituals may accomplish this, in part, by incorporating a range of kinship cues. First, many religious rituals involve artificial phenotypic cues of kinship—similar costumes, headdress, face paint, and so forth. Second, social synchrony is a key feature of many religious rituals, and has long been hypothesized to promote group cohesion e.
Recent experimental studies confirm that synchronic movement increases cooperation among participants. For example, Wiltermuth and Heath found that participants who engaged in synchronic behaviors e. Third, the arousal that many rituals generate may function as a contextual cue to kinship.
Xygalatas et al. High-ordeal participants donated significantly more than low-ordeal participants, and higher levels of self-reported pain were associated with greater donations. A key feature of our approach is to consider whether the fractionated components of morality and religion have overlapping evolutionary histories. As noted earlier, just as there are genetically endowed physical structures e.
Our fractionating strategy produces a preliminary matrix of at least 25 basic questions at the level of biological evolution e. In our view, the most plausible cases of biologically evolved connections between the religious and moral foundations involve agency-detection mechanisms and ToM. Likewise, if the limitations of our evolved capacities to simulate mental states, or the absence of such states , triggered intuitions about the continued invisible presence of dead individuals, this would have been incidental. However, D. Johnson, Bering, and colleagues e. Johnson, ; D.
The supposition of moral-foundations theorists is that the various foundations evolved to solve a range of adaptive problems e.
The evolution of these various mechanisms would have occasioned a novel set of selection pressures—in particular, the costs associated with being caught violating foundational moral principles. According to D. Johnson, Bering, and colleagues, the evolution of linguistic and mentalizing capacities would have ramped up these costs, as moral transgressions could be reported to absent third parties, exacerbating reputational damage for the transgressor. The conjunction of these various mechanisms, therefore, may have increased the premium on mechanisms that inhibit moral transgressions.
Johnson, , p. The notion that humans have a genetically endowed propensity to postulate moralizing, punitive supernatural observers is both compelling and controversial. If intuitions about punitive supernatural observers are a biological mechanism for inhibiting moral transgressions, we should expect activation of these intuitions to have the relevant inhibitory effect.
In the next section, we review the evidence for this hypothesis. Surveys indicate that people who score higher on indices of religiosity e. This would render religious individuals more susceptible to social desirability concerns, to which self-report measures of socially desirable behaviors are notoriously vulnerable Paulhus, Some studies have found that a link between self-reported religiosity and self-reported altruism remains even when social desirability concerns are measured and controlled for e.
One limitation of some of these behavioral studies, from a pluralistic moral perspective, is that competing moral motivations are sometimes conflated. For example, given the effect of religious priming on dictator game allocations, one might conclude that such priming activates the care foundation, promoting moral concerns for the well-being of others. An alternative possibility, however, is that the increased giving in the dictator game reflects the activation of the fairness foundation.
This might be seen as compelling evidence that fairness concerns were paramount here. However, although the modal response was to transfer half of the money, some participants in the religious prime condition transferred more than half—strictly speaking, an unfair allocation. A similar issue arises when considering the study of Pichon et al.
These authors found that participants primed with positive religion words e. One might conclude that religious priming or, at least, positive religious priming had activated compassion for the disadvantaged. Notwithstanding these interpretive complexities, the results of religious priming studies, taken together, would seem to indicate that religious priming promotes adherence to moral norms.
Nevertheless, the picture may be more complicated than this, as other studies have shown that religious priming also elicits a range of aggressive and prejudicial behaviors. Saroglou, Corneille, and Van Cappellen found that religiously primed participants encouraged by the experimenter to exact revenge on an individual who had allegedly criticized them were more vengeful than those given neutral primes. Van Pachterbeke, Freyer, and Saroglou found that religiously primed participants displayed support for impersonal societal norms even when upholding such norms would harm individuals the effects reported by Saroglou et al.
And Ginges et al. One might suppose that the effects of such priming on aggression and prejudice count against the hypothesis that intuitions about supernatural observers inhibit moral norm violations. But without knowing what participants perceive as the relevant norm, this is difficult to establish. For example, in the Bushman et al. There are other reasons to doubt that religious priming studies demonstrate that activating intuitions about punitive supernatural agents curbs moral infractions.
The effect of the secular primes, they suggest, is more consistent with the behavioral priming explanation. Similar considerations apply to a study by Mazar et al. More recently, Ma-Kellams and Blascovich found that even primes of science e. It remains to be demonstrated, however, that the perception that one is observed is what mediates the effect of the primes on behavior.
It is possible that religious priming might activate both surveillance concerns and moral concepts, but that only the latter influence game behavior. Earlier we mentioned methods that potentially conflate distinct moral motivations e. Jesus preached the latter e. If supernatural primes activate concerns for fairness, then primed participants should be more likely to punish violations of fairness norms. If, on the other hand, such primes stimulate kindness, then participants may be less likely to engage in such punishment. We found that religious primes strongly increased the costly punishment of unfair behaviors for a subset of our participants—those who had previously donated to a religious organization.
This finding seems consistent with the notion that supernatural agency concepts promote fairness and its enforcement, although, as this study did not disambiguate agency and moral dimensions along the lines suggested earlier, it may be that the effect here was a result of behavioral priming of moral behavior in this case, punishment of unfair behavior rather than activation of supernatural agent concepts. Another problem is that different idiosyncratic conceptions of God e. When possible, therefore, priming studies should attempt to measure idiosyncratic conceptions of God e.
Overall, we think that religious priming studies provide at least tentative evidence that activating intuitions about supernatural agents curbs moral norm violations. But what of the intuitions themselves? If intuitions about such supernatural punishers are properly foundational , they should be culturally and historically widespread. However, Baumard and Boyer a note that the gods of numerous classical traditions e.
Although these considerations may seem to refute any suggestion that moralizing, punitive supernatural agents are historically and cross-culturally universal, recent work suggests that even when gods are not explicitly represented as caring about human morality, there is nevertheless a moral undercurrent beneath the surface of such explicit, reflective representations Purzycki, In any case, as Graham et al.
Cultural influences may restrict the expression of innate cognitive tendencies, just as they can restrict the expression of innate physical propensities e. However, Graham and colleagues also note that not all cultures are equally informative when it comes to establishing foundationhood. For example, the Hadza of northern Tanzania and the! Kung of the Kalahari Desert are contemporary hunter—gatherer societies with gods who take little interest in human wrongdoing Norenzayan, In our judgment, therefore, it is unlikely that our evolved cognitive systems produce stable intuitions about omnipresent supernatural punishers.
What we think more plausible is that we have a genetically endowed sensitivity to situational cues that our behavior is being observed. A burgeoning literature indicates that even very subtle cues of surveillance influence adherence to prevailing moral norms. In contrast to these studies, Raihani and Bshary found that dictators donated less money in the presence of eye images. However, these authors only analyzed mean donations, and not the probability of donating something however small.
Nettle et al. Bateson, Nettle, and colleagues have found similar effects using an image of a pair of eyes on a notice in naturalistic settings. Bateson, Nettle, and Roberts found that, compared with images of flowers, eye images substantially increased the level of contributions to an honesty box in a psychology department tea room; and Ernest-Jones, Nettle, and Bateson found that similar images halved the odds of littering in a university cafeteria.
Bourrat, Baumard, and McKay found that such images led to greater condemnation of moral infractions. Relatedly, Cavrak and Kleider-Offutt recently found that participants exposed to religious images associated with a prominent supernatural agent e. Finally, there is evidence that experimental cues of anonymity rather than of surveillance e. The upshot of all this work is that evolved agency-detection mechanisms may serve to deliver intuitions about observing agents and to regulate our behavior in the presence of those agents.
We doubt, however, that such mechanisms deliver intuitions about moralizing, punitive supernatural agents—instead, we think that the relevant intuitions are more basic just concerning the presence of agency per se. And drawing on intuitions about fairness and the psychological characteristics of intentional agents ToM , such supernatural watcher concepts may morph into more complex, compelling, and culturally transmissible notions of moralizing gods—notions which, when made salient or activated as in priming studies , serve to promote adherence to the perceived norms of those gods.
What this highlights is that we can often make no principled distinction between religion and morality at the level of culture or cognition. Our aim here has been to pinpoint some of the major features in the religious and moral constellations. Recall the analogy drawn earlier between the properties of a hands and gloves, and b evolved cognitive systems and explicit cultural representations. Whereas hands are biologically evolved features of human anatomy, gloves are culturally evolved artifacts that must follow the contours of the hand at least to some extent in order to be wearable.
In this section, we ask whether, in a similar fashion, culturally evolved belief systems must follow the contours of our evolved cognitive systems. Moreover, from the perspective of our concern with the religion—morality relationship, do cultural systems create durable connections between the moral and religious foundations depicted in Figure 2? In posing these particular questions, we do not mean to suggest that the direction of causality must always run from religion to morality.
In considering these questions, one might seek to supplement the examples in Figure 2 with further examples plucked from the ethnographic record. Although time-consuming, such an exercise would undoubtedly be instructive in many ways. It would indicate, for example, whether—and how—cultural systems from diverse regions of the world are capable of connecting moral and religious foundations in a variety of ways.
It would not, however, address the deeper question of why they do so. Established in the early s and spreading to encompass scores of villages in some of the more remote regions of the island, the movement has a centralized leadership, based at a large coastal settlement, from which regular patrols to outlying villages are sent, bringing news, collecting taxes, and policing the orthodoxy.
Professor MJ Guest - Durham University
The mainstream Kivung exhibits all the fractionated elements of our intuitive religious repertoire: hyperactive agency detection, ToM, teleofunctional reasoning, the ritual stance, and group psychology. And it connects each of these elements to our five moral foundations care, fairness, loyalty, respect, and purity. At the heart of Kivung teachings is the idea that the ancestors of followers will someday soon return from the dead, bringing with them all the wonders of Western technology. Until that day, however, the ancestors exist only as bodiless agents, discernible by the sounds they make and the traces they leave behind.
Failures to observe the laws of the Kivung are said to delay the miracle of returning ancestors. Only when a certain moral threshold has been achieved will the living and the dead be reunited. This dogma connects with all our moral foundations because the Kivung laws, adapted from the Ten Commandments as taught by Catholic missionaries in the region, forbid such a broad range of transgressions as violence and slander harming , cheating and stealing fairness , criticizing the Kivung loyalty , disobedience respect , and cooking during menses purity.
Kivung ideas about ancestors not only link up our moral foundations but also weave intricate connections through discourse and ritual between each of our religious foundations. For example, among the many rituals observed by Kivung followers is the daily laying out of food offerings to the ancestors. Great attention is paid to the noises of ancestors entering the temple e. This simple ritual requires intense concentration, as it is said that if the ancestors detect insincerity telepathically , they will withhold their forgiveness.
Teleofunctional reasoning meanwhile is a pervasive feature of Kivung origin myths and various rituals associated with the sacred gardens one of which memorializes a Melanesian Eden. And lastly, the Kivung activates group psychology by creating familial ties based on shared ritual experiences and coalitional bonds via us—them thinking in relation to external detractors and critics. In the end, however, it constitutes a question about how , rather than why , cultural systems create connections between moral and religious foundations.
To address the why, we need to consider issues of function and ultimate causation. Two contrasting positions on the why of the morality—religion relationship in cultural evolution have achieved some prominence in recent years. One takes the form of adaptationist arguments concerning the emergence and spread of routinized rituals and moralizing gods.
The other argues that all cultural traditions, however they trace or fail to trace the connections between moral and religious foundations, are by-products of cognitive predispositions and biases, rather than cultural adaptations that enhance the fitness of individuals or groups.
We briefly review these alternative positions and consider what evidence would be required to adjudicate satisfactorily between the two. Scholars in the cognitive science of religion tend to agree that many globally and historically recurrent features of religious thinking and behavior are by-products of cognitive machinery that evolved for reasons that have nothing to do with religion e.
Barrett, ; Bloom, ; Boyer, For example, HADDs are thought to have evolved to help support the detection of predators and prey. If they also undergirded intuitions about the presence of bodiless agents, then this was originally a side effect by-product of their main function J. Barrett, , , To express this in terms of our body—clothing analogy, if HADDs were equivalent to the evolved anatomy of the hand, then the accumulated cultural knowledge of expert trackers and hunters would be equivalent to the protective functions of gloves, essential for survival in very cold climates.
But gloves can also have decorative frills, like bobbles and tassels, which have no particular survival value. Cultural representations concerning bodiless agents would be decorative frills of this kind. As such, these kinds of functionally superfluous additions need not follow the contour of the hand at all—and might derive their popular appeal precisely from the fact that they do not.
Conceivably, the cultural success of certain Christian ideals e. What distinguishes the adaptationist perspective on religion, however, is the view that at least some of these religious by-products became useful for the survival of individuals and groups in the course of cultural evolution. Most commonly, this argument has been applied to the growth of large-scale societies. Humans evolved to live in face-to-face bands of hunter—gatherers rather than in vast empires or nations. Small group psychology, it has been argued, would have been insufficient to handle many of the challenges of large group living.
Religion provided cultural adaptations to support the transition from foraging to farming, from local community to state formation. One line of adaptationist thinking has focused on the role of ritual frequency in this transition Whitehouse, We consider each of these approaches in turn. One of the major challenges in understanding how and why religion changes as societies become larger and more complex relates to the changing structure and function of ritual.
As conditions permitted an escalation of the scale and complexity of human societies, cultural evolutionary processes may have further tuned the elements of ritual, promoting social cohesion. With the evolution of social complexity, religious rituals become more routinized, dysphoric rituals become less widespread, doctrine and narrative becomes more standardized, beliefs become more universalistic, religion becomes more hierarchical, offices more professionalized, sacred texts help to codify and legitimate emergent orthodoxies, and religious guilds increasingly monopolize resources Whitehouse, , Some of these patterns have recently been documented quantitatively using large samples of religious traditions from the ethnographic record.
Instead, the much more frequent rituals typical of regional and world religions sustain forms of group identification better suited to the kinds of collective action problems presented by interactions among strangers or socially more distant individuals Whitehouse, As rituals become more routinized, however, they also become less stimulating emotionally, and perhaps even more tedious Whitehouse, As some societies became ever larger and more complex, even the processes described here may not have been sufficient to sustain cooperation and a host of new cultural adaptations—most notably, forms of external information storage and secular institutions of governance—became increasingly important Mullins et al.
With the emergence of agriculture and larger, more complex social formations, strangers or relative strangers needed to be able to assess their respective reputational statuses when biographical information was not readily available. The signaling theory of religion and ritual has been recently extended by the theory of credibility enhancing displays CREDS; Henrich, By engaging in costly behaviors, rather than merely advocating such behavior in others i. This is thought to facilitate the spread of moral norms across large populations and safeguard their transmission across the generations.
CREDS theory seeks to explain not only the wide distribution of moral norms in the so-called ethical religions but also the prevalence of moral exemplars in such traditions e. One of the most vigorous debates in the recent literature on religion and morality has concerned the cultural prevalence of moralizing gods—powerful supernatural agents who monitor behavior and punish moral infractions. Ara Norenzayan and colleagues e. In small-scale and traditional societies in which everybody knows everyone else and most social behavior is easily observed and reported, transgressions are easily detected.
Modern technologies of surveillance, such as police cameras, identity cards, and computer records, allow increasingly extensive monitoring of thieves, cheats, defectors, and free riders by designated authorities. Norenzayan et al. In contrast, Baumard and Boyer a argue incisively that the cultural prevalence of moralizing god representations does not result from the fact that such representations promote socially cohesive behaviors among human groups.
Instead, these representations are successful because they have features e. In short, moralizing gods are cultural variants with effects that enhance their own success and so are adaptive in that sense; Dennett, , but these effects do not include changes in the biological or cultural fitness of their human vectors. How are we to evaluate these opposing views? One feature of Norenzayan et al. As we have seen, a wealth of evidence from priming studies indicates that the activation of supernatural concepts can promote adherence to moral norms.
Do the latter studies undermine the hypothesis of Norenzayan and colleagues? On the contrary, they may be aggressive, murderous, and even genocidal. It is less clear that these findings are consistent with Baumard and Boyer a. The latter authors claim that the success of moralizing god concepts is entirely a result of the resonance of these concepts with the output of intuitive systems, so their theory does not require that these concepts have any effects whatsoever on behavior.
Any such effects are incidental and superfluous from their perspective. They then converted to Christianity, a moralizing religion, and were promptly crushed by barbarians with tribal, nonmoralizing gods. As they acknowledge, however, the gods of antiquity were represented as monitoring the appropriate performance of rituals. To the extent that rituals represent or promote moral behaviors see earlier , therefore, gods that care about rituals care about morality, directly or indirectly. We note in this connection that common components of ritual performance may facilitate parochially altruistic behaviors, including aggression e.
The relationship between religion and morality is a deep and emotive topic. The confident pronouncements of public commentators belie the bewildering theoretical and methodological complexity of the issues. In the scholarly sphere, progress is frequently impeded by a series of prevailing conceptual limitations and lacunae. We have set out an encompassing evolutionary framework within which to situate and evaluate relevant evidence.
Our view is that cultural representations—concepts, dogmas, artefacts, and practices both prescribed and proscribed—are triggered, shaped, and constrained by a variety of foundational cognitive systems. We have sought to identify the most currently plausible conjectures about biologically evolved connections between these systems, and have reviewed and evaluated the most prominent published debates in the cultural evolutionary domain. Ultimately, we see and foresee no pithily characterizable relationship between religion and morality. Second, under the pluralistic approach we advocate, which fractionates both religion and morality and distinguishes cognition from culture, the relationship between religion and morality expands into a matrix of separate relationships between fractionated elements.
Although we eschew a simplistic story, we live in a very exciting time for psychological research on this topic. The aim should be to settle upon a parsimonious set of culturally and historically widespread cognitive predispositions that exhibit developmental and comparative evidence of innate preparedness, and that jointly account for the great bulk of culturally distributed items falling under the umbrella of religion and morality.
On the one hand, morality may require God in the sense that the very notion of morality is incoherent without God i. This is what Socrates had in mind and disputed. On the other hand, morality may require God in the sense that belief in God is needed to enforce moral behavior. This is what Dostoevsky meant. Cohen and colleagues e. Cohen, ; A. Some religions e. The point that scientific research on religion should consider all four whys has been eloquently made by Hinde and informs his writings on religion more generally e.
This lesson is particularly important when considering evidence germane to the religion—morality debate. Although they found a positive relationship between intensity of religiosity and altruism in the dictator game, they acknowledged that the causality of this relationship could have run from altruism to religiosity, or that unobserved third variables may have influenced both altruism and religiosity.
The second player has a completely passive role which is why the dictator game is not, strictly speaking, a game and must accept whatever the first player transfers. In a public goods game, players privately choose how much of an endowment to donate to a public pot. For example, punishment of unfairness has been associated both with self-control e.
At present, there is no official moral foundation of self-control. And thanks to God for it. Hadnes and Schumacher found that priming West African villagers with traditional beliefs substantially increased trustworthy behavior in an economic trust game. Aveyard tested a sample of Middle Eastern Muslim undergraduates and found that whereas a laboratory priming manipulation had no effect on their cheating rates, participants exposed to a naturalistic religious prime—the Islamic call to prayer—cheated substantially less.
Johnson, The database contains quantitative variables describing numerous characteristics of the societies in the sample. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Psychological Bulletin. Psychol Bull. Published online Dec Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Corresponding author. Copyright for this article is retained by the author s. Author s grant s the American Psychological Association the exclusive right to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher.
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract The relationship between religion and morality has long been hotly debated. Keywords: cognitive science of religion, moral foundations theory, prosocial behavior, cultural evolution. It is simply impossible for people to be moral without religion or God. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Conceptual Lacunae and Confusions in the Religion and Morality Debate Despite the confident claims of many contemporary commentators, we believe the relationship between religion and morality is poorly understood.
Astrologizing History can be written at any magnification. Descriptive Ethnocentrism If moral psychology is to contribute to the psychology of religion, it will have to describe a moral domain as expansive as that of the Gods. Sanitized Conceptions of Morality and Prosociality Ingroup generosity and outgroup derogation actually represent two sides of the same coin. Cognitive Versus Cultural Levels of Explanation Efforts to fully characterize the relationship between religion and morality are limited by a tendency for researchers to conceptualize morality or religion as bundles of either cognitively or culturally evolved traits rather than both.
Religion and Morality: A New Approach In order to circumvent these limitations and avoid these problems, we propose a new approach to the religion—morality debate that not only fractionates both religion and morality but is careful to distinguish the different levels at which explanation is required. Figure 2. Moral foundations theorists have put forward their own celestial analogy to describe the process of identifying foundations: There are millions of objects orbiting the sun, but astronomers do not call them all planets.
Fractionating Religion: Religious Foundations? Teleofunctional Explanations Another foundational cognitive predisposition where religion is concerned may be a tendency to favor teleofunctional reasoning. Kinship Detection Inclusive fitness theory predicts that organisms will behave in ways that preferentially benefit kin, with more benefits conferred as the degree of genetic relatedness between the actor and the recipient increases Hamilton, As Pinker points out, kin recognition in humans depends on cues in particular, linguistic cues that others can manipulate: Thus people are also altruistic toward their adoptive relatives, and toward a variety of fictive kin such as brothers in arms, fraternities and sororities, occupational and religious brotherhoods, crime families, fatherlands, and mother countries.
The Religion—Morality Relationship in Biological Evolution A key feature of our approach is to consider whether the fractionated components of morality and religion have overlapping evolutionary histories. Supernatural Agent Intuitions and Morality Surveys indicate that people who score higher on indices of religiosity e. The Cross-Cultural Prevalence of Supernatural Punishment Concepts If intuitions about such supernatural punishers are properly foundational , they should be culturally and historically widespread.
The Religion—Morality Relationship in Cultural Evolution Recall the analogy drawn earlier between the properties of a hands and gloves, and b evolved cognitive systems and explicit cultural representations. Adaptationist and By-Product Accounts Two contrasting positions on the why of the morality—religion relationship in cultural evolution have achieved some prominence in recent years.
Routinization One of the major challenges in understanding how and why religion changes as societies become larger and more complex relates to the changing structure and function of ritual. Conclusion The relationship between religion and morality is a deep and emotive topic. Footnotes 1 Here we conflate two different senses in which morality may require God. References Ahmed A. The effect of subtle religious representations on cooperation. International Journal of Social Economics , 38 , — The Journal of Socio-Economics , 40 , — Hollander R.
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Human Nature , 16 , — The proper study of mankind: An anthology of essays. London, UK: Vintage Classics. Parochial altruism in humans. The costs of human inbreeding and their implications for variations at the DNA level. Nature Genetics , 8 , — Signaling theory, strategic interaction, and symbolic capital. Current Anthropology , 46 , — Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion , 52 , — International Journal for the Psychology of Religion , 23 , — Religion is natural.
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Who really cares? The surprising truth about compassionate conservatism. Monkeys reject unequal pay. A cross-species perspective on the selfishness axiom. Behavioral and Brain Sciences , 28 , Grand Rapids, MI: Revell. Meme infection or religious niche construction? An adaptationist alternative to the cultural maladaptationist hypothesis. Wilson D. The cultural evolution of religion In Richerson P. Engineering human cooperation: Does involuntary neural activation increase public goods contributions?
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The God delusion. London, UK: Transworld. Opposite-sex siblings decrease attraction, but not prosocial attributions, to self-resembling opposite-sex faces. Feith S. The neuropeptide oxytocin regulates parochial altruism in intergroup conflict among humans. London, UK: Penguin. The bright stuff. New York Times , p. Breaking the spell: Religion as a natural phenomenon. New York, NY: Viking. The brothers Karamazov Pevear R. The elementary forms of the religious life Swain J. Human cognitive neuropsychology. Hove, UK: Erlbaum. Child Development , 85 , — Humble self-enhancement: Religiosity and the better-than-average effect.
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Social and Personality Psychology Compass , 7 , — The ancient city of Rome, historic capital of the Roman empire, was sacked by barbarian troops. Many pagans blamed Christians for the catastrophe, on the grounds that the recently empowered Church encouraged the legal prohibition of public worship of the gods who traditionally had protected Rome from just such a disaster.
In response to this charge, St. Augustine of Hippo took up his pen and, over a thirteen year time-span, composed what would become, after the Bible itself, one of the most important books in the history of the Christian theological tradition: The City of God Against the Pagans. This course will guide students through the entirety of this classic text, with special attention given to the historical, political, and theological questions that the City of God continues to provoke today, almost years after it was written.
A theological and historical introduction to the origins and development of the Christian church from the first to the fifth centuries. Special attention will be given to the historical emergence of Christian doctrines, creeds and canon; the formation of Christian understandings of the human person; the development of liturgical and sacramental traditions; and the interaction of Christianity with other ancient cultures.
Contemporary approaches to the study of Christian origins will be emphasized. This course explores New Testament understandings of some of the titles of Jesus, such as Christ, Lord, and Savior, and investigates the development of Christological doctrine in the early centuries of Christianity. Consideration will also be given to some modern Christological questions. In the half-century since Watson and Crick first deduced the structure of DNA , our knowledge of the fundamental properties of organic life has grown exponentially.
So too has our ability to manipulate those properties for the relief of suffering and the improvement of human life. Our continued pursuit of genetic knowledge and the application of that knowledge to human life have sparked vigorous debate on a variety of distinct but related levels of inquiry: scientific, practical, moral, political, philosophical, and theological. This course aims to introduce students to a representative sampling of these debates. It emphasizes the inescapably theological dimension underlying them all. The literature of early Christianity is filled with ambiguity concerning women's role in the churches and in the story of salvation.
Women's subordination was justified on the basis of Eve's role in bringing evil and sin into the world. At the same time, women were presented as heroines and models of the ideal Christian life. They held roles of leadership within early church communities, even while early church writers argued against their right to do so. This course will examine a wide range of primary texts by and about women in the early Christian churches in order to explore the relationship between faith and culture as the context for understanding women's role and status in the early church.
It will also look at ways in which these texts might be relevant for the modern context. The basic theme is Christianity's relationship with its host culture, and the ways in which the churches, both theologians and lay people, understood that relationship, especially in its political dimension, amidst the crises that convulsed Germany in the twenties, thirties, and forties. Attention is given both to cases that demonstrate the conflict between Christianity and culture, and to cases in which the conflict was not acknowledged, whether through defects of character, theological blind spots, or political miscalculations.
This course examines Christian theological and moral reflection on the relation between human activity and the natural environment. It will address environmental issues that are of mutual concern to theologians and the natural or social sciences; thus it will study scientific analysis along with theological perspectives.
In the last half century religious diversity in the West has rapidly increased, bringing people from different religious traditions into daily contact. This has resulted in new conflicts, sometimes in violence, but also in new collaborations and friendships. Drawing on several approaches to interreligious conflict and relations, this course will examine the dynamic encounters that take place between and among people of different religious identities and ask students to reflect on their own role in religiously complex situations.
Students will consider this interreligious reality and their role in it against the backdrop of their own individual relationship to spirituality, faith, and theology. To foster interreligious understanding beyond the classroom, students in this course will directly engage with the religious diversity of Minneapolis-St. This course is a community-engagement course requiring a minimum of 15 hours of interreligious community engagement for all students enrolled.
The subject matter of these courses will vary from year to year, but will not duplicate existing courses. An investigation of the origins of the Protestant tradition through the writings of Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, and the Radical reformers, among others. Attention will be given to the theological issues which emerged, as well as views on marriage and family life, religious and political authority, and the status of women. The history of Christianity is a history of enculturation in diverse geographical and cultural settings.
This course examines both the history and implications of this enculturation in various contexts, and investigates the resources that Christian theology and tradition offer for guiding how Christians live out their faith across cultures. This course examines the roots of Vatican II in the unfinished work of the First Vatican Council, together with the movements and events in the period between the councils. In addition, it analyzes major documents of the Second Vatican Council with special attention to the dogmatic and pastoral constitutions of the Church.
This course examines Catholic reflection on social structures and patterns of moral behavior as they are expressed in economic, social and political contexts. Focus topics might include: social virtues, the role of religion in the public realm, understanding of the person in relation to society and the state, the defense of the dignity of the person, the promotion of the common good, the use of force and the meaning of justice within and between communities. Possible sources for this course might include selections from classic biblical, patristic and medieval texts; papal, conciliar and episcopal documents; writings of modern and contemporary Catholic social theorists; and social movements inspired by the tradition.
A capstone experience for theology majors and minors. The subject matter of this course, announced in the annual Class Schedule, will vary from year to year, but will not duplicate already existing theology courses. Students explore, in seminar format, a particular theological theme or issue form the perspective of at least three of the four sub-disciplines of theology biblical, systematic, historical, moral.
Under the guidance of the instructor, students will complete a major research project. Prerequisite: a minimum of sixteen credits in theology, including THEO What is a good manager and how does he or she contribute to the common good? This course pursues these questions within the Christian social tradition broadly understood through an exploration of the theological relationship between work as a vocation and leisure as contemplation. Within this theological context, the course examines the financial, organizational, technological, and cultural forces that managers and organizations encounter daily.
This course analyzes some of the most profound evils of the modern era, and attempts to relate them to traditional and contemporary discussions of divine and human responsibility. It is especially concerned with the unique features of modern evils, including their presence in certain social structures, political systems and scientific technologies. Specific subjects for study, which will vary from year to year, may include, the Holocaust; slave trade; genocidal colonization in Africa, Asia, and the Americas; the threat of nuclear annihilation.
This course investigates how religious faith might be re-interpreted in light of these evils, and whether the notion of a suffering deity is theologically appropriate for Christian faith. This course explore Black theological development as a cultural, functional and cognitive dimension of traditional Afro-American society, including belief, worship, expression, symbol, spirituality and God. Attention will be given to the meaning and roots of the notions of culture, nationalism and racism as they appear as questions in Black theological though, including African religions, Islam and The Nation of Islam, along with Afro-American Christian theologies.
African as well as Afro-American religious experience combined with the affirmation of the Christian creed are identified in order to evaluate the questions of Black Catholic theology in America today. A theological investigation of changing relationships between Christianity and the political order, principally in religious terms as understood by Christians themselves but also from the vantage point of government. Emphasis in the first half of the course is on the foundational events of the New Testament and the early Christian era, and in the second half on Christianity's experience with secular and democratic modernity in America.
The aim of the course is to measure the effect, in changing historical contexts, of persecution, establishment, and disestablishment, on a religion which professes both to be rooted in transcendent reality, and to have direct implications for life in this world. Primary readings from scripture, ancient and modern theology, speeches, sermons, Supreme Court decisions, and political, sociological and religious reflections on the American experiment with democracy and freedom of religion. If to work is to share in the creative activity of God, then what specific challenge does this pose for an attorney given the grinding realities of the legal profession?
If to be a professional is to live out a tripartite relationship between self, client, and a higher standard, then how does an attorney determine, much less respond to such a standard? Through a close reading of a variety of theological texts, treaties, case studies and rules of professional conduct, this course will address these questions and, in so doing, attempt to fashion a paradigm for the Christian practice of law.
Within this paradigm, emphasis will be placed on the meaning of justice, law, rights and responsibilities. An ethic of care that fosters the development of a compassionate world and a common life will be emphasized. This course will a explore U. The overlapping themes in criminology and theology of crime and sin, punishment and rehabilitation and redemption, restoration and forgiveness will shape the discussion.
Students pursuing vocations in criminal justice will have an opportunity to consider the relationship between their work and Christian theology, while students who are interested in the topic as involved citizens may come to see how they may play a part in addressing this issue. How do various writers explore and convey their understandings or theological categories such as God, humanity, creation, redemption, faith, doubt, good, and evil?
How does looking at the interplay of form and content, the elements and purpose of storytelling, and the connections of culture and ideology to artistic expression shed light on key theological questions? This team-taught course will explore these literary and theological questions through critical engagement with texts from a variety of time periods, literary genres, and religious perspectives.
This course addresses students as citizen believers, mapping out what role they can play in public life. It first examine the Christian tradition and its teachings on responsible citizenship.
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It then examines the question using legal and political theory from before our founding as a nation through the debates about the nature of our democracy today. The rest of the course is focused on preparing students as citizen believers to enter the public square with their own theological argument on a contemporary political topic of interest to them, which will make public through varied written formats and class debate.
This course will bring the tools and the methods of Christian ethics to bear on the issues of economic immigration in the contemporary, U. The first part of the course examines the economic, political, historical, social and cultural dimensions of transnational migration in the U. The second part of the course will bring the resources of Christian ethics to the ethical issues of immigration raised in the first part of the course.
This second part of the course will examine the centrality of alterity otherness in the Bible and the Christian tradition. The course will conclude with the discussion of how Christian ethics can inform the national discourse on these issues and conversely, how the issues of migration must shape Christian ethics. This course will have a service learning component that will bring students into contact with immigrant communities in the Twin Cities.
This is a Bridge Course whose readings will focus primarily on C. Lewis's literary works, especially, but not exclusively, on his fiction. The course will also include some critical works, both Lewis's as well as others' work about Lewis. In addition, numerous biblical passages will be examined, including the parables of Jesus, which, as a parallel to Lewis's work, can demonstrate the theological possibility of narrative.
Class lectures and readings in and about Lewis will explore Christian theology and its interdisciplinary relations to literature, especially myth. Through the lens of Lewis's literature, historical, philosophical, moral, educational, and global issues will be considered. This course will examine the Bible and Qur'an and compare them. Points of comparison might include: competing claims of divine inspiration; creation, Adam and Eve; Joseph; the law; Mary and Jesus; Mohammed and Jesus. This course has three goals. First, to gain an understanding of each broad tradition Islamic from the Qur'an, and Jewish and Christian from the Bible ; second, to develop a method by which to approach sacred texts, a way to see their relevance and power; and third, to appreciate both the differences and similarities in these two sacred texts, both in their literary features, and in their effect upon society.
Schedule Details Location Time Day s.
- The Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece.
- Data Scheduling and Transmission Strategies in Asymmetric Telecommunication Environments.
- Financial Products: An Introduction Using Mathematics and Excel!
- Modern homotopy theories;
- The theory of error correcting codes.
- Fantasy Lover (Dark-Hunter World Book 1);
Christian Theo Tradition. MHC DelCogliano This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. MCH Wojcik This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition.
Christian Theological Trad. Cogill This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. MacMillan This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. Koerpel This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition.
Gavrilyuk This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. Wyant This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition.
Hoden This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. JRC Ulrich This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. Stoltzfus This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition.
noroi-jusatsu.info/wp-content/2020-10-06/1945-comment-localiser.php Nairn This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. SCB Levad This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. Sanders This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition.
Sain This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. Rolnick This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. Hurtuk This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition.
Spencer This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. Schlabach This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition. Twite This course is designed to acquaint students with the contents of the Bible and with Christian history, especially in the context of the Catholic tradition.
Organ This course introduces systematic theology, a discipline that tries to understand how Christian doctrines are interrelated with each other and with other beliefs about the world. Vrudny This course introduces systematic theology, a discipline that tries to understand how Christian doctrines are interrelated with each other and with other beliefs about the world. Old Testament. Gavrilyuk An intensive reading and discussion of the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew scriptures. Wilson An intensive reading and discussion of the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew scriptures.
Niskanen An intensive reading and discussion of the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew scriptures. New Testament. Landry This course involves the student in an intensive historical, literary and theological reading of major portions of the New Testament in the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts and from the perspective of modern methods of biblical interpretation.
Cory This course involves the student in an intensive historical, literary and theological reading of major portions of the New Testament in the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts and from the perspective of modern methods of biblical interpretation. Wilson This course involves the student in an intensive historical, literary and theological reading of major portions of the New Testament in the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts and from the perspective of modern methods of biblical interpretation.
Christian Morality. Koerpel This course is an introduction to the principles, methods and topics of Christian theological ethics. Twite This course is an introduction to the principles, methods and topics of Christian theological ethics. Medieval Theology. Cogill This course will explore various contemporary approaches to God and God's relationship to humankind, including perspectives written by people traditionally on the margins of theological research. Cogill This course explores the role of scripture, history, tradition and common human experience in the understanding of religious mystery and the systematic expression of that mystery in the Christian tradition.
Christian Worship. Hoden A study of Christian communal worship from historical, social science, and theological perspectives. Sacred Music:Cath Heritage. BEC