The Cognition of Belief

Can the new science of mind and brain help overcome longstanding perceived divisions between believers of different faiths? Members of one faith may think of members of another faith as fundamentally different from themselves. Viewed through the lens of modern cognitive and brain science, however, the basic characteristics of a brain are the same no matter where it lives or in which religious context it develops. Thus, it is likely that the brains of diverse believers actually manifest belief similarly, and that shared neuro-cognitive pathways lead to the development of belief across disparate faiths.

“The Cognition of Belief” conference convened leading scholars on religious cognition and featured scientific research demonstrating the embeddedness of religious belief in basic elements of human cognition, which are common to human beings across cultures and faiths. This meeting was the capstone convening of a larger project on religious cognition in the United States and Afghanistan, led by a Georgetown University research team and funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

For a full list of speakers please visit the conference website.

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