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Conference Programme

Biological and Cultural Evolution and Their Interactions:

Rethinking the Darwinian and Durkheimian Legacy

in the Context of the Study of Religion,

 

University of Aarhus, June 26-30 2012.

 

June 26:

First morning session: 9:15-10:30

9:15-9:20 Opening of the conference Anders Klostergaard Petersen

9:20-10:05 Keynote lecture by Joseph Bulbulia, “Ritual, Identity, and Coordination: Surprising Results From the Field”

10:05-10:30 Discussion and questions

Chair: Anders Klostergaard Petersen

 

10:30-10:50 Refreshments

 

Second morning session: 10:50-12:30

10:50-11:20 Claire White and Daniel Fessler, “Are afterlife beliefs cognitive parasites? Exploring the roles of evolved psychological mechanisms and cultural environments in the experience of human grief.”

11:20-11:40 Discussion and questions

11:40-12:10 Andrew Keitt, “Historicizing the Cognitive Study of Religion: Medieval and Early Modern Superstition as Theological Incorrectness.”

12:10-12:30 Discussion and questions


Chair: Marianne Schleicher

 

Joint Lunch break 12:30-14:00

 

First afternoon session 14:00-16:00

14:00-14:40 Keynote lecture by Alexandra Maryanski, “Emile Durkheim and the Secret of the Religious Totem: An Evolutionary Story.”

14:40-15:10 Discussion and questions

15:10-15:40 Jørn Bjerre, “Emile Durkheim on Religion and Education as Forces of Evolution of the Mind.”

15:40-16:00 Discussion and questions

Chair: Cameron Warner

 

Short coffee and tea break 16:00-16:30

 

Second afternoon session 16:30-17:30

15:30-16:00 Quentin Atkinson, “Population Structure and Cultural Geography of a Folktale in Europe.”

16:00-16:30 Discussion and questions

16:30-17:00 Ryan McKay,  “’Shared Delusions’: The Evolution of Costly Social Traditions.”

17:00-17:30 Discussion and questions

Chair: Dimitris Xygalatas

 

Dinner on your own

 

20:00 Keynote lecture by Robert N. Bellah, “Religion in Human Evolution.”

 

June 27:

First morning session: 9:00-10:15

9:00-9:45 Keynote lecture by Doron Mendels, “Deus Duplex to Deus Silens.”

9:45-10:15 Discussion and questions

Chair: Anders Klostergaard Petersen

 

10:15-10:40 Refreshments

 

Second morning session: 10:40-12:10

10:40-11:25 Keynote lecture by Eva Jablonka, “Cultural Transformations: An Evo-Devo  Approach.”

11:2 5-12:10 Discussion and questions

Chair: Martin Riexinger

 

Joint Lunch break 12:10-13:15

 

Afternoon on your own, unless you want to attend a most interesting public PhD-defense scheduled from 13:15-16:15 with a subsequent reception:

 

Kristoffer Laigaard Nielbo, Spontaneous and hierarchical segmentation of non-functional events.

 

Assessment Committee:

Professor, PhD Pascal Boyer

Department of Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA

Professor, PhD Don Braxton

Department of Religious Studies, Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA, USA

Professor, Dr. Phil. Armin W. Geertz (Chair)

Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark

 

 

Alternatively:

1)     You may visit the Old City

2)     You may visit Moesgaard Museum

3)     You may simply want to relax

 

18:30-19:00 Aperitif before dining at the Restaurant at Nørregade 38, 2. to the left. Ring the doorbell with the name “Utoft-Nielsen”.

19:00- Joint dinner at Klassisk Fisk, Nørregade 38.

Subsequent coffee, beer, wine at Løve’s at your own expense.

 

June 28:

First morning session: 9:30-10:30

9:30-10:00 Sabela Fondevila, “Metaphors on Counterintuitive Religious Ideas.”

10:00-10:30 Discussion and questions.

Chair: Marie Vejrup Nielsen

 

10:30-10:50 Refreshments

 

Second morning session: 10:50-12:20

10:50-11:20 Jakob Wamberg, “The Origin of Art: A Biocultural Approach.”

10:50-12:20: Discussion and questions

Chair: Marie Vejrup Nielsen

 

Lunch break 12:20-14:00

 

First afternoon session 14:00-16:00

14:00-14:30 Andreas Lieberoth, “More Mental Parasites? – Game Engagement as Parallel to Religion.”

14:30-15:00 Discussion and questions

15:00-15:30 Michiel van Elk, “Extending Peripersonal Space to Religious and Profane Objects.”

15:30-16:00 Discussion and questions

Chair: Armin Geertz

 

Short coffee and tea break 16:00-16:30

 

Second afternoon session 16:30-18:30

16:30-17:10 Keynote lecture by Russel Gray, “Cultural phylogenetics and the evolution of religion”

17:10-17:35 Discussion and questions

17:35-18:05 Ronald Fischer, “Gene-environment interactions as possible causes of value and religious orientations between societies.”

18:05-18:30 Discussion and questions

Chair: Jesper Østergaard

 

Gala dinner and guided tour at Aros, the Art Museum of Aarhus 18:30-

(There will be a bus transport from the University to Aros)

 

June 29:

First morning session: 9:15-10:30

9:15-10:00 Keynote lecture by Jonathan Turner, “The Prospects and Limitations of Importing Evolutionary Theory from Biology to Social Scientific Analysis.”

10:00-10:30 Discussion and questions

Chair: Uffe Schjødt

 

10:30-10:50 Refreshments

 

Second morning session: 10:50-12:30

10:50-11:20 Davide Vecchi, “A New Metaphor for the Study of Culture?”

11:20-11:40 Discussion and questions

11:40-12:10 Konrad Talmont-Kaminski, “Wilson’s Empty Cathedral: Prosociality and Secularisation.”

12:10-12:30 Discussion and questions

Chair: Uffe Schjødt

 

Joint Lunch break 12:30-14:00

 

First afternoon session 14:00-16:00

14:00-14:45 Keynote lecture by Pascal Boyer, "Naturalness of Social Institutions - on the Biology of Cultural Norms."

14:45-15:10 Discussion and Questions

15:10-15:40 Ines Adornetti and Francesco Ferretti, “Why We Need Coevolution to Explain Cultural Beliefs.”

15:40-16:00 Discussion and questions

Chair: Jeppe Sinding Jensen

 

Short coffee and tea break 16:00-16:30

 

Second afternoon session 16:30-18:30

16:30-17:10 Keynote lecture by Bernhard Lang, “The Planter, the Intellectual, and the Individual.”

17:10-17:30 Discussion and question

17:30-18:10 Don Wiebe and Luther Martin, “The Scientific Study of Religion: Two Case Studies.”

18:10-18:30 Discussion and questions

Chair: Hans Jørgen Lundager

 

June 30:

First morning session: 9:30-10:30

9:30-10:00 Robert Rowthorn, “Religion, Fertility and Genes: A Dual Inheritance Model.”

10:00-10:30 Discussion and questions

Chair: Joseph Bulbulia

 

Refreshments 10:30-10:50

 

Second morning session: 10:50-11:50

10:50-11:20 Rick Goldberg, “Funerals, Ancestral Spirits and Traditions: Religion and the Origin of Cooperation.”

11:20-11:50 Discussion and questions

Chair: Joseph Bulbulia

 

11:50-12:10 Conclusion of the conference Armin W. Geertz