"An exploration of the reasons why religious people often behave in unorthodox, if predictable, ways, Jason Slone's Theological Incorrectness is the latest in a growing number of cognitive studies of religion--and the most accessible to date. The chapters presenting this new approach--which argues that religion is a natural by-product of ordinary cognition--are exceptionally clear, making the book a welcome choice for use in undergraduate education. And Slone's examples--Buddhism, Christianity, and the perseverance of luck in religious practices--convincingly demonstrate its value not only to those encountering it for the first time but to established scholars of religious studies as well." --Luther H. Martin, Professor of Religion, The University of Vermont
"This is a splendid book that greatly adds to our knowledge of religion. Slone demonstrates how cognitive science illuminates persistent mysteries of religious thought and behavior: why some religions apparently dispense with gods and transcendence, why beliefs in luck will outlive all religious systems, and many other such enigmas. He tackles one of the most puzzling features of organized religion, that theologically sanctioned beliefs rarely command complete adherence even from the most devout followers. People do believe, but they often do not believe what they think they believe, and Slone brilliantly explains why that is so. --Pascal Boyer, author of Religion Explained
The cognitive science of religion aims to explain religious thinking and behavior in ways that are both precise and testable. Jason Slone shows how many previous theories of religion have fallen short in this respect and he provides a masterly overview of the new sciences that reverse that trend. But Slone has done much more than that. He has managed to produce a concise survey that is as accessible and entertaining as it is authoritative, interwoven with his own distinctive and important ideas. The result is a book that will appeal as much to lay readers and undergraduates as to advanced scholars and scientists interested in the psychological foundations of religion. --Harvey Whitehouse, author of Arguments and Icons: Divergent Modes of Religiosity
"Jason Slone's Theological Incorrectness shows in an erudite, humorous and compelling way how the cognitive science of religion is in the process of developing intriguing, plausible and empirically confirmable answers to the many puzzling features of religious ideas and the practices they inform. He distinguishes between the theologically correct explicit beliefs and the intuitive beliefs that actually drive religion on the ground. This important and groundbreaking book will make waves not only in the academic community but also in the larger marketplace of ideas. If I were a salesperson I would advise people to run rather than walk to buy it. Slone has made a signal contribution both to scholars engaged in the scientific study of religion and to the wider audience tuned to new voices presenting compelling ideas in exciting ways. --E. Thomas Lawson, Editor, Journal of Cognition and Culture
About the Author
D. Jason Slone
is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Findlay in Ohio.