Five Issues in the Debate

A Response to Critics


  • Claire White California State University



studying religion, method and theory, philosophical and theological implications, cognitive science of religion


In this response, I identify and address five recurring issues raised in the commentaries to my recently published book, An Introduction to the Cognitive Science of Religion: Connecting Evolution, Brain, Cognition, and Culture. These issues are: (1) Conceptualizing and studying religion, (2) the dialogue between method and theory, (3) the theological implications of the CSR, (4) history and culture, and finally, I end with (5) the future of religion and the CSR. I conclude that while further developments are inevitable in a subdiscipline as young as the CSR, we have made tremendous progress already in revitalizing the study of religion towards a more scientifically grounded perspective.

Author Biography

Claire White, California State University

Dr Claire White is Assistant Professor in the department of Religious Studies at California State University, Northridge. She holds the first position in the United States as a Cognitive Science of Religion specialist in a Religious Studies Department. She is also the Co-Chair of the Cognitive Science of Religion Group at the American Academy of Religion.


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How to Cite

White, C. (2022). Five Issues in the Debate: A Response to Critics. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion, 7(2), 226–238.