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Bringing Ritual to Mind


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Table of Contents

1. Cognitive constraints on religious ritual form: a theory of participants' competence with religious ritual systems; 2. Ritual and memory: frequency and flashbulbs; 3. Two hypotheses concerning religious ritual and emotional stimulation; 4. Assessing the two hypotheses; 5. General profiles of religious ritual systems: the emerging cognitive science of religion.

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Bringing Ritual to Mind explores the psychological foundations of religious ritual systems.

About the Author

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.


'Bringing Ritual to Mind makes a substantial contribution to one corner of the cognitive field, the cognitive basis of ritual forms. The book extends and clarifies aspects of the theory of ritual competence presented in the authors' Rethinking Religion (1990).' Numen '... a provocative and very stimulating set of ideas ...'. Anthropos

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