Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Beliefs in invisible beings capable of displaying their much-vaunted powers in the visible world and interacting with humans have been present among all the world's peoples, according to written records, folklore, and archaeological remains. In Western culture, during the medieval era, transcendent realities were set in a Ptolemaic world of hollow and transparent globes. In directing attention to the significance and nature of religious experience, this article recalls the vital link that was once in place between the human soul and religion, and comments on the significance of the contemporary study of mind – now known as cognitive science – for the study of religion, including religion's future in the academy.

Keywords: human soul, religion, religious experience, cognitive science, supernatural, Enlightenment

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.