The Computational Science of Religion


  • Justin Lane University of Oxford
  • F. LeRon Shults University of Agder



computer modelling, simulation, religion, artificial intelligence, agentbased model, system dynamic model, natural language processing


This article provides a basic overview of the most common methods of computer modelling and simulation that are currently being used to study religion. It focuses on the use (and illustrates the value) of system dynamics models, agent-based models, including game theory and multi-agent artificial intelligence models, and artificial neural networks. General use case examples are provided, and considerations for future research are discussed. We conclude by encouraging scholars interested in religion and related fields to incorporate techniques from the computational science of religion into their collaborative methodological toolkits.


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How to Cite

Lane, J., & Shults, F. L. (2021). The Computational Science of Religion. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion, 6(1-2), 191–208.