Thursday, March 29, 2007

Dr. Istvan Czachesz's website on Cognitive Approaches and Memory Studies

Dr. Mladen Popovic (from Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) sent me a link that I want to share with everyone. Thank you!

Wondering what cognitive approaches are and how they might be useful for Biblical Studies? Check out the fantastic website that Dr. Istvan Czachesz (from the University of Groningen) has put together, including some pdf files of articles that he has written on apocryphal texts using cognitive approaches as his method.

It is a good site to pick up some starting bibliography if you are interested in expanding your method base. Personally, I think it will be essential for biblical scholars of this generation to learn cold (and apply to our own field) what cognitive studies already knows about human behavior and memory.


Harry Perton said...

De url onder de link klopt niet, omdat hij verdubbeld is.
Doe vanuit Groningen overigens de groeten aan Mladen Popovic.
Gelkinghe said...

An article by Dr Justin Meggitt seems applicable.

If the human Jesus son of god cult was sporned from the cult of the Roman emperor, then the former conformed to the pervading establishment culture. Since the gnostic's Jesus was a spirit, it would seem that gnostics were anti-establishment, ie rejected Roman imperialism. They were rebels. said...

sorry 'spawned'

David said...

On a partial tangent, I find it interesting that you (Dr. DeConick) are also interested in the mysticism of early Christianity. This seems to me to be another (largely) oral tradition, usually passed down from master to student, not committed to writing. It is also an approach that the traditionalists would not have understood, since they were unlikely to have had mystical experiences. Yet the "orthodox" eventually had to develop some grudging and limited acceptance of mysticism, in the Middle Ages, as long as it fit within very narrow doctrinal boundaries.

David said...

As a follow-on, I wonder how the Cognitive Approach to oral tradition would be useful in the study of mystical beliefs and practices.

gnox said...

Thanks for the link to Dr. Czachesz's website. I'm a bit surprised, though, that the site gives the impression that it's a brand new idea to "study Religion from the perspective of Cognitive Science." The latter term, by the way, was widely used a couple of decades ago, but the more recent branchings of that inquiry don't use it so much any more, as it's associated with tendencies that the field has left behind (such as a tendency to separate the "cognitive" from the "affective" domains.)

Anyway, this overlaps with my own research interests, and though i'm only an amateur, i have some other resource suggestions for scholars looking into current studies of psychology/biology in connection with cultural artifacts such as scriptural and religious traditions. My online resource list, which has a subject index that should help visitors find what they're looking for, is at -- a couple of the book reviews linked to my home page may also be of interest in this connection.

It's great to see scholars of early Christian texts reaching in this direction! I'm reaching from the other side myself -- working on the biology/psychology of meaning, as exemplified in the reading of scriptures, i decided on an intensive look at the Gospel of Thomas, and that eventually led to your blog. Also i've just entered the blogosphere myself: (Some of the posts there might also be of use along these lines.)