Culture Making is now archived. Enjoy five years of reflections on culture worth celebrating.
For more about the book and Andy Crouch, please visit

from "Which cognitive revolution?," by Justin L. Barrett, The Immanent Frame, 18 July 2008

In his column, Brooks suggests that the “cognitive revolution” in the study of religion will likely encourage belief systems that focus on “self-transcendence” but discourage “the idea of a personal God.”  The more genuinely cognitive trend in contemporary science of religion does not directly bear upon whether one should hold any given religious beliefs, but if it offers any clues as to which religious beliefs are likely to remain resilient in the future, it suggests that belief in personal gods aren’t going anywhere soon.  A common refrain in CSR is the naturalness of belief in supernatural agents or gods.  In his review of the cognitive and evolutionary studies of religion, anthropologist Scott Atran writes: “Supernatural agency is the most culturally recurrent, cognitively relevant, and evolutionarily compelling concept in religion. The concept of the supernatural is culturally derived from an innate cognitive schema.”