Theological Incorrectness: Why Religious People Believe What They Shouldnt

Hardcover | May 6, 2004

byD. Jason Slone

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"Ask two religious people one question, and you'll get three answers!" Why do religious people believe what they shouldn't--not what others think they shouldn't believe, but things that don't accord with their own avowed religious beliefs? This engaging book explores this puzzling feature of human behavior. D. Jason Slone terms this phenomenon "theological incorrectness." He demonstrates that it exists because the mind is built it such a way that it's natural for us to think divergent thoughts simultaneously. Human minds are great at coming up with innovative ideas that help them make sense of theworld, he says, but those ideas do not always jibe with official religious beliefs. From this fact we derive the important lesson that what we learn from our environment--religious ideas, for example--does not necessarily cause us to behave in ways consistent with that knowledge. Slone presents the latest discoveries from the cognitive science of religion and shows how they help us to understand exactly why it is that religious people do and think things that they shouldn't. He then applies these insights to three case studies. First he looks at why Theravada Buddhistsprofess that Buddha was just a man but actually worship him as a god. Then he explores why the early Puritan Calvinists, who believed in predestination, acted instead as if humans had free will by, for example, conducting witch-hunts and seeking converts. Finally, he explains why both Christians andBuddhists believe in luck even though the doctrines of Divine Providence and karma suggest there's no such thing. In seeking answers to profound questions about why people behave the way they do, this fascinating book sheds new light on the workings of the human mind and on the complex relationship between cognition and culture.

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"Ask two religious people one question, and you'll get three answers!" Why do religious people believe what they shouldn't--not what others think they shouldn't believe, but things that don't accord with their own avowed religious beliefs? This engaging book explores this puzzling feature of human behavior. D. Jason Slone terms this ph...

D. Jason Slone is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Findlay in Ohio.

other books by D. Jason Slone

Religion and Cognition: A Reader
Religion and Cognition: A Reader

Kobo ebook|Apr 1 2016

$47.99 online$59.89list price(save 19%)
see all books by D. Jason Slone
Format:HardcoverDimensions:168 pages, 5.71 × 8.31 × 0.91 inPublished:May 6, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195169263

ISBN - 13:9780195169263

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"Jason Slone's Theological Incorrectness shows in an erudite, humorous and compelling way how the cognitive science of religion is in the process of developing intriguing, plausible and empirically confirmable answers to the many puzzling features of religious ideas and the practices theyinform. He distinguishes between the theologically correct explicit beliefs and the intuitive beliefs that actually drive religion on the ground. This important and groundbreaking book will make waves not only in the academic community but also in the larger marketplace of ideas. If I were asalesperson I would advise people to run rather than walk to buy it. Slone has made a signal contribution both to scholars engaged in the scientific study of religion and to the wider audience tuned to new voices presenting compelling ideas in exciting ways. --E. Thomas Lawson, Editor, Journal ofCognition and Culture