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Death and deities: A social cognitive perspective

Death and deities: A social cognitive perspective

The universality of religious belief—in supernatural agents: gods, ghosts, souls, spirits, and their ilk—is, no doubt, the product of a whole host of interacting causal factors. However, the notion that such beliefs are driven by fear of death recurs throughout intellectual history. Although recent social psychological research provides some support for this claim, the relationship between mortality-related concerns and religious belief becomes clearer in light of so-called “dual-process models”, which allow for both conscious and unconscious levels of cognition. Religion,... / more

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