Why fear the history of science? A brief response to Don Wiebe

This post was first published on Heterodoxology, Oct. 23, 2015. I am more used to being labelled a “scientistic reductionist” than an “anti-science relativist”. While neither is particularly accurate, I was certainly surprised to see Don Wiebe review my book,...
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Secrecy, cognition, and building blocks in Erfurt

This coming week, religion scholars from all over the world descend upon Erfurt, Germany, for the quinquennial conference of the International Association for the History of Religion (IAHR). I am writing this post from the comfort of a Deutsche Bahn...
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Western Esotericism and Cognition at AAR

The European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism has put together a panel for the next American Academy of Religion meeting (which takes place in Atlanta) on the topic of “Western Esotericism and Cognition”. The details made available in...
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Forthcoming publications: reverse engineering, building blocks, and event cognition

RBB cover
I am happy to announce that two publications related to the Occult Minds project have been accepted for publication in top religious studies journals over the past week. The first of these, “Experience as Event,” is a co-authored article with...
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Aries Special Issue on Esotericism and the Cognitive Science of Religion – CfP

Together with Markus Altena Davidsen (Leiden University), I am setting up a special issue of Aries on “Esotericism and the Cognitive Science or Religion”. At this stage we are looking for abstracts from people who might be interested in contributing...
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How does new age literature cherry-pick its science? A cognitive approach

Science is prestige. Many new religious groups know this very well, and desire to have their spiritual claims vindication by Science. This is especially the case for esoteric new religions, which often owe their theological foundations to Theosophy and other...
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