Lari Launonen

Why Cognitive Science of Religion Matters for Christian Theology and Philosophy: An Overview

Volume 8 () / Issue 2, pp. 209-233 (25)
Published 11.05.2022

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DOI: 10.1628/ptsc-2021-0017
Cognitive science of religion (CSR) raises a number of issues that are of interest to theologians and philosophers of religion. The latter have focused primarily on the epistemological implications of CSR, that is, whether science shows religious belief to be irrational or unjustified. Another broad question is whether CSR is compatible with theism and Christian theology. Theological doctrines, such as Calvin's views about sensus divinitatis and the noetic effects of sin, play an important part in these conversations. Less attention has been directed to how CSR can function as a source for theological and philosophical inquiry. So far, CSR has been invoked in discussions on the natural knowledge of God, classical theism and divine hiddenness. This article provides an overview of the recent philosophical and theological engagements with CSR.