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Shamanism within a general theory of religious action (no cheesecake needed)

  • Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi (a1)
Abstract

Singh places the understanding of shamanism within the cognitive/evolutionary psychology of religion but is then sidetracked by presenting unhelpful analogies. The concepts of “superstition” as a general term for religious rituals and of “superstitious learning” as a mechanism accounting for the creation of rituals in humans reflect an underestimation of the human imagination, which is guided by cognitive/evolutionary constraints. Mentalizing, hypervigilance in agent detection, and anthropomorphism explain the behaviors involved in religious illusions (or delusions).

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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