Socio-Cognitive Perspectives on Early Judaism and Early Christianity:

A Nordic Network

Nordforsk logo

  • Concluding meeting of the network: "Social and cognitive sciences in the analysis of texts and history." Special theme: Sermon on the Mount. Helsinki, January 8-10, 2014. Program here


Project leader:

Petri Luomanen, Prof.
University of Helsinki


This NordForsk-sponsored network (2010-2013) aims at strengthening cooperation and contacts between biblical scholars and scholars of religion in two methodologically progressive areas of religious studies in the Nordic countries:

  • The cognitive science of religion and the application of cognitive sciences in general
  • Social-scientific, especially the social identity approach to early Christianity and early Judaism

More specifically, the network focuses on the following research questions:

  • The role of rituals in the formation and long-term survival of religious communities
  • The role of cross-culturally recurrent moral intuitions in the formation of ethical norms of religious communities
  • Cognitive foundations of social identities and moral behavior in the context of ingroup outgroup interaction
  • The role of language and rhetoric in the creation and sustenance of communities and their typical discourse and moral

The network will organize eight workshops on different themes related to these research questions. Six of them will function as courses for PhD students. See the preliminary program here