Religion, Ideology, and Environmentalism: A Tale of Morals

I believe the study of religion and ritual in human cultures argues compellingly for the importance of an interactive morality, one that prioritizes the concrete and particular life of communities and their relationships. This kind of morality is closer to that encouraged by our evolutionary heritage, which demanded constant, daily investment in relationships as the basic currency of survival.…At the same time, this interactive morality, on its own, is also no longer enough. Read more

Forgiveness and health: It’s complicated

Researcher Michael McFarland (University of Texas at Austin) and colleagues found that forgiveness positively correlates with health over time – but only for African-Americans. Read more

How WEIRD are you?

New research from the University of Virginia and China shows a surprising finding – liberals are WEIRDer than conservatives! Read more

Psychology and the religion-science conflict: Part 2

Having discovered how everyday people handle the so-called “religion-science” conflict, psychologists Cristine Legare (University of Texas at Austin) and Aku Visala (University of Oxford) now aim to use their data to critique and inform the standard philosophical approaches to this issue. Philosophers typically, at minimum, categorize religion-science approaches in three ways: conflict, independence, and reconciliation. Legare and Visala find that so few people actually adhere to the first two that only reconciliation plausibly coheres with human cognition. Read more

Psychology and the religion-science conflict: Part 1

Studying the religion-science conflict empirically, psychologists Cristine Legare (University of Texas at Austin) and Aku Visala (University of Oxford) offer psychological data about it, concluding that scientific explanations do not replace religious ones, and then (see part 2) they critique the standard religion-science discussion. Read more

Video games: they have what atheists need

Who knew? New research from Canada shows that self-styled atheists prefer video games to tabletop games much more than do religious believers. The explanation? Atheists prefer to let video games do their imagining for them. Read more

Does God accept the real you?

Psychologists Bart Soenens (Ghent University, Belgium) applied the study of interpersonal relationships to religiosity and found that how one perceives one’s relationship with God affects whether one approaches religiosity symbolically or literally. Read more

An evidence-based rethinking of the religion-science conflict

Research by sociologist John Evans (University of California, San Diego) concludes that (1) Christians know just as much science as the non-religious, (2) conservative Christians favor their religious beliefs over science when the two “conflict” but from their perspective the two in fact are not in conflict, and (3) conservative Protestants oppose scientists’ influence in political issues when the scientists disagree with their moral values. Read more

Rise in elder Korean suicides: A reminder that religion matters

The New York Times reports that South Korea’s rise in suicides among the elderly may be rooted in the country’s abandonment of Confucian social norms. I agree, but I take it a step further – this tragic phenomenon is an important reminder of the important, and often hidden, role of religion in countless people’s emotional and practical lives. Read more

Journal articles on scientific study of religion available online this month

Taylor & Francis, the publisher of the journal Religion, Brain & Behavior, is making all articles free online for access and download through the month of February 2013. Read more

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