Professor emeritus Armin W. Geertz visited ECCE

It was a real pleasure for ECCE to host Professor emeritus Armin W. Geertz from Aarhus University 11.–15.2.2019. He is one of the key developers of the cognitive science of religion, acting in the advisory board of our project. 

During his stay, Prof. Geertz gave an inspiring talk on the possibilities to study religious experiences, mystical in particular, using different data mining techniques. The writings of Teresa of Ávila (1515–1582), prominent Spanish mystic, formed the data set of the analysis, revealing interesting correlation between Teresa's changing life situations and her mystical experiences. 

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Doctoral students of ECCE also had the chance to present their papers to Prof. Geertz, resulting in invigorating discussions about their work, evolution, cognition etc. This was an unique opportunity for young scholars to receive many insightful advices from one of the top scholars of religion, cognition and culture.  

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However, the highlight of Prof. Geertz visit was his public lecture "Brain, body and behavior: A biocultural approach to religious minds". In this lecture, Prof. Geertz sketched how the study of religion has changed over the years, ending up in the biocultural approach to religion. This approach combines theories from neurobiology, social psychology, anthropology, cognitive science, archaeology and comparative religion. Thus, it can be seen as a holistic view to religion, emphasising the interplay of the brain, body and culture.

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