Author(s)Barrett, Justin L.
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AbstractConcepts of gods, like any other concepts, are informed and constrained by cross-cultural regularities of the human mind-brain. Specifically, divine beings that are represented as intentional agents are subject to the cognitive intuitions that govern all intentional agents. These intuitions may include psychological and physical attributes not endorsed by a given theological tradition. Experimental evidence is presented supporting the presence of these cognitive constraints and a resulting divergence between stated theological beliefs and implicit concepts. Hindu residents of northern India completed questionnaires regarding attributes of Brahman, Shiva, Vishnu, or Krishna and also participated in a narrative comprehension task. Results revealed striking differences in how the gods were conceived in the two contexts.
The full-text of this article is not available in ORA, but you may be able to access the article via the JSTOR link on this record page. N.B. Dr Barrett is now based at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford.
Oxford Research Archive internal ID: ora:3097