Parents who raise their children to be religious may hope that their offspring will grow up to be more empathic and concerned with moral issues. But does religion actually facilitate sensitivity to others and prosocial behavior? A new study led by Jean Decety of the University of Chicago, based on research supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, has put this assumption to the test.
Posts Tagged religion
The impact of religious beliefs has been widely investigated by social scientists, and that science continues to develop. For example, there’s evidence that belief in God offered the evolutionary advantages of nurturing prosocial behavior and bonding across large groups. However, the psychological nature of religious belief itself has been relatively under-investigated. That is now changing with the work being undertaken by researchers as part of “Gods in Minds: The Science of Religious Cognition,” an initiative funded by grants totaling more than $3,000,000 from the John Templeton Foundation.
An eight-part series, “Faith & Science in the 21st Century,” has started its run on Day1, a non-profit ministry radio program geared towards mainline Protestant American churches. The series, which is funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, will feature leading theologians and scientists exploring key issues in science and religion.
Many insights derived from social and psychological studies shed light on the nature of religious beliefs. Moreover, the research could usefully illuminate the public discussion of religion and science, which can otherwise descend into negative cultural wars. Addressing this gap was the goal of a recent workshop, Breaking New Ground in the Science-Religion Dialogue.
By 2050, for the first time in history, the number of Muslims around the world is projected to nearly equal the number of Christians. Over the same period, the number of atheists, agnostics, and other people who do not affiliate with any religion—though increasing in countries such as the United States and France—will make up a declining share of the world’s total population. These are two of the key findings in a major new report, The Future of Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050, from the nonpartisan think tank Pew Research Center.
“Perceptions: Science and Religious Communities” is an upcoming one-day conference on March 13, 2015 that will bring together national and local leaders in science and religion to foster dialogue between these communities, and to plan a course for future conversation.
American evangelical practices of prayer can train the mind to experience God, explains Tanya Luhrmann, winner of the 2014 Grawemeyer Award in Religion from the University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Luhrmann, a Stanford University psychological anthropologist, received the prize after four years of fieldwork in Chicago and Northern California with Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Her research was supported by the John Templeton Foundation.
How much religious freedom can governments allow? How much religious freedom do human individuals need? Is there an understanding of religious freedom that can be generalized across different places and traditions?