Chapter

The Belief Imperative: Towards an Integrated Framework for Religious Cognition

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Abstract

In this chapter, I introduce a new analytical criterion that I have termed ‘integrative power’. On my usage, integrative power describes the capacity of the CSR to assimilate or make coherent evidence from different levels of explanation, where a level represents an analytical stratum or layer (McCauley 1986, pp. 189–191). Put simply, an extended framework for religious cognition needs to provide connections between data and theories generated by different disciplines using different units of measurement. This remains a vital goal for the CSR if it is to expand and progress from frames of reference mainly constituting cognition to those associated with other aspects of social, psychological, and mind science. Here I aim to assess the CSR’s integrative effect on all of the various angles exploring religious thought, while also suggesting some high potential but nascent opportunities. Such efforts provide essential groundwork towards constructing a more comprehensive model for religious cognition in the final chapter.

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