14 Oct 2021
Lecture: Joshua C. Jackson - The New Science of Religious Change: Theory, Method, and an Application
Research on human culture is adopting a more dynamic approach, with a rise in longitudinal studies focused on cultural change and development over short-term and long-term human history. However, most research on culture and religion focuses on one-shot dilemmas and cross-sectional results, despite the cultural evolutionary implications of the field’s findings. Here I outline the recipe for a new science of religious change. I argue that studying religious change would benefit from a cultural evolutionary focus and a broader set of methods. I demonstrate how these theoretical and methodological tools can be used together by describing new research on how ecological threats and cultural tightness change people’s views of gods in both one-shot designs and over hundreds of years.