Prof. Kevin Eames Authors Book on the Cognitive Psychology of Religion
Dr. Kevin Eames, professor of psychology, recently authored Cognitive Psychology of Religion, a book that explores questions about the origins of belief in God, the “cognitive architecture” that leads people to believe in the supernatural, neuroscience, and childhood development. Cognitive Psychology of Religion was published by Waveland Press in the spring of 2016.
Eames had long been intrigued by the way that humanity’s creational psychological faculties predispose people to believe in God. The book explores this predisposition and the research surrounding the idea of a psychological faculty that creates an inclination to believe in the supernatural.
“Probably the most compelling research is with young children,” said Eames. “They have a tendency to think theistically in a number of ways without any indoctrination. They tend to think in terms of things having a purpose—what we call teleological reasoning.”
Cognitive Psychology of Religion is a multi-disciplinary work in that it explores not only psychology but also anthropology and linguistics. The book may also be taken as a kind of apologetic.
“Although there are other ways to interpret the data, this idea of a faculty psychology goes back to the Puritans and to the Scottish common sense realists,” said Eames. “There was a belief that we had faculties that were able to demonstrate reality and, as some of the Puritans pointed out, that we have a so-called ‘God faculty’ that helps us perceive the existence of God. Obviously, as Romans 1 says, some are going to suppress that knowledge. But for those whom the Holy Spirit quickens, He reveals Himself to us in a way that enables us to perceive Him.”