Kindling God: How People Experience the Divine "Lecture 1: The Faith Frame"

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The Faith Frame

The great social science theorists of religion take the fact of belief for granted. Moreover, the cognitive science of religion and evolutionary psychology have demonstrated that evolved, “natural” qualities of our minds readily generate intuitions about supernatural agency. Yet Christians also report that faith is hard: it takes effort. These lectures make the case that this effortful attention involves an attention to the mind and to mental events; that different practices of attending to mental events shape mental experience; that different cultures and different theologies emphasize mind and mental process in distinctive ways; and all this has consequences for the way people experience God. This first lecture lays out the general frame and makes a claim that factual beliefs are different from religious beliefs. Attendees will be able to (1) identify the need to expand the cognitive science of religion to include the effort required to maintain a commitment to the salience of a positive supernatural presence and (2) identify the distinction between religious and factual belief.

Respondent: Justin L. Barrett, PhD, Thrive Professor of Developmental Science


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Integration Symposium Session 1_final.mp3




Travis Auditorium, Fuller Theological Seminary


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From the Fuller Seminary Events Department Files (2019)

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