Introduction to Hearing Voices and Other Matters of the Mind
Keywords:Religious Cognition, Psychopathology, Maturationally Natural System, religion
In the book Hearing Voices and Other Matters of the Mind, McCauley and Graham present a novel contribution to the Cognitive Science of Religion. The authors propose a naturalistic, pluralistic, and interdisciplinary approach to analyze the continuities between normal cognition, religious cognition, and abnormal cognition. McCauley and Graham use the idea of maturationally natural systems to understand different religious “abnormal” experiences: hearing voices from God or other spiritual beings, mood disorders caused by a failure in petitionary prayer, religious scrupulosity and its resemblance with Obsessive-Compulsive symptoms, and the “mindblind atheism” of Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Despite some minor weaknesses, e.g., an excessive use of maturationally natural systems to explain religious phenomena, the book is an important contribution to the Cognitive Science of Religion.
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