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Does the Scientific Study of Religion Cast Doubt on Belief in God?


The 2012 James Martineau Memorial Lecture is on this month and all are invited to attended this free public event.

The lecture, Does the Scientific Study of Religion Cast Doubt on Belief in God?, will be presented by Joshua C. Thurow, (PhD, University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA) is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at San Antonio (USA) who specialises in epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of religion. 

Cognitive scientists, anthropologists, and evolutionary theorists have developed sophisticated and testable theories of why humans believe in gods and other invisible beings. Should these theories, which are purely naturalistic, lead believers in God to doubt their beliefs and instead suspect that it is nature and not God that explains why they believe? 

After surveying some of the recent theories, Thurow will argue that believers in God may be entirely rational in holding their religious beliefs even with full knowledge of these theories, although they may need to reject some common reasons for believing in God.

Thurow has published essays in several journals and edited volumes; one of his essays on the cognitive science of religion recently appeared in the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion. In 2009 he received a grant from the Cognition, Religion, and Theology Project at Oxford University to engage in research on the cognitive science of religion.

Date and Time: 

October 30th in Launceston 6-7.30pm (Lecture Theatre 5 in the Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre on the Newnham campus)October 31st in Hobart 6-7.30pm (Stanley Burbury Lecture Theatre in the University Centre on the Sandy Bay campus)

Published on: 24 Oct 2012 5:06pm