Latest CERC Items
For tens of thousands of years, humans lived in small bands of hunter-gatherers, sharing some kind of animistic belief. They probably believed the landscape was alive and sacred. And then everything changed. In just a few thousand years, people gathered by the hundreds or thousands in big settlements. And that’s when the Big Gods arrived. […]
It is commonly claimed that mind-body dualism is entirely foreign to China—or “the East” more generally. This talk will draw on a wide variety of evidence to debunk this Orientalist myth of holism, including archeological findings, traditional close reading of texts, novel large-scale textual analysis techniques, and work in contemporary evolutionary anthropology and cognitive science. […]
This is the third in a series of Talks at Google by current and former fellows of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University. Previous CASBS speakers appearing in the Talks at Google program include Rose McDermott and Eric Klinenberg. Learn more about CASBS at http://casbs.stanford.edu and follow @CASBSStanford. […]
Edward Slingerland – a Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia – claims that recent research suggests that many aspects of a satisfying life – such as happiness and spontaneity – are best pursued indirectly. The early Chinese philosophers knew this, and they wrote extensively about an effortless way of being in the world. We’ve long […]
TWO PUBLIC LECTURES ON DIGITAL HUMANITIES co-presented by Green College (UBC), The Early Modern Conversions Project (McGill University) and the Cultural Evolution of Religion Consortium (UBC) THE DIGITAL HUMANITIES: SOME CONTEXTS, CONCEPTS AND INITIATIVES Ray Siemens, Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Victoria Coach House, Green College, 6201 Cecil Green Park Road […]
From fire-walking to meditation, and from graduation ceremonies to wine toasting, rituals are everywhere. But what purpose do they serve? Dimitris Xygalatas combines anthropology, science, and technology to answer this question. Dr. Dimitris Xygalatas is an experimental anthropologist who specializes in the study of ritual behaviour. His research focuses on the application of scientific methods and […]
Benjamin Grant Purzycki & CERC in Nature Belief in moralistic, punitive gods that take an interest in human affairs may have facilitated the expansion of human societies, finds a study published in Nature this week. Several theories have been invoked to explain the expansion of human cooperation and societal complexity, which has been taking place since the origins […]
HECC and CERC are proud to launch the New Science of Religion Series, a video and podcast collaboration with Transliminal Media and funded by UBC and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Purzycki, B. G., Kiper, J., Shaver, J., Finkel, D. N., and Sosis, R. (2015). Religion. In Scott, Robert A., and Kosslyn, Stephen M. (eds.). Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. New York: Wiley, pp. 1-16.
Purzycki, B. G., and McNamara, R. A. (2016). An Ecological Theory of Gods’ Minds. In De Cruz, Helen and Nichols, Ryan (eds.). Advances in Religion, Cognitive Science, and Experimental Philosophy. New York: Continuum, pp. 143-167.