Academy

The Center for Mind and Culture dedicates part of its energy to investigating key academic fields operating within the mind-culture nexus. Our main focus is a kind of mirroring: creating the means for researchers and educators in the fields we engage in understanding their operative values and practices, and thereby to be more deliberate in setting policies and reforming academic practices. We describe some of the projects along this branch of the Center’s work below.

Field Mapping Projects

Field Mapping Projects

CMAC curates databases of publications in a variety of disciplines and uses those bibliographic databases to map key fields at the interface of mind and culture. Those fields include Human Healing and Wellbeing; Ecological Ethics; Cognitive Science of Religion; Philosophy of Religion; Religious Studies; and Theological Studies.

The projects’ main questions include:

  • Which scholars and institutions are currently active in fields related to the scientific study of religion? Where are they located? What subdisciplines are they most associated with?
  • Which topical clusters exist within the scientific study of religion? How are the clusters related and which clusters have the greatest “momentum” (i.e. have their citations been increasing)?
  • Which funders are supporting the scientific study of religion and its associated fields?
  • How have the people, institutions, and funders associated with the scientific study of religion changed over time?

The team is currently amassing and organizing a comprehensive list of all associated publications, relevant authors, and important institutions, with which they can begin to answer these questions. They are giving this project unprecedented depth and precision. By establishing these databases, CMAC will expand the possibilities for research coordination and development, as scholars will be better able to interact with existing experts and information. Years active: 2007–Present.

Key Personnel

 
PhilosophyofReligion.org

PhilosophyofReligion.org

CMAC runs a website for scholars and students bent on exploring big question philosophy. At PhilosophyOfReligion.org, researchers have asked professional philosophers of religion to write blog entries on what philosophy of religion can offer to the modern university, considered either as a whole or through the lens of one or more university disciplines. Occasionally, researchers will also ask an intellectual working outside the field to venture to tell philosophers of religion what they ought to be doing. 2016 witnessed a fabulous response to the challenge of reflecting on and articulate what this field is and does. Researchers are now working on collating, analyzing, and presenting the answers that those creative blog contributions offer us.

This year (2017), CMAC is asking philosophers of religion to look outward instead, and illustrate how the field can impact the university or specific disciplines; CMAC looks forward to hearing their responses and beginning that analysis shortly. For now, you can check out the blog to read their input!

Key Personnel

 
Teaching Modeling and Religion to Humanists

 

Teaching Modeling and Religion to Humanists

The Center is working with the University of Agder in Norway and the Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center to examine how the transformative methods of modeling & simulation can be made available to scholars in humanities disciplines, from literature to history. Years active: 2016–Present.

Research Partners

 
Values in Scholarship on Religion (VISOR)

 

Values in Scholarship on Religion (VISOR)

The Values in Scholarship on Religion Project (VISOR) is gathering information about the values held by scholars of religion (across a wide variety of sub-disciplines) so that we can have a more informed conversation around the academic table. Scholars within various academic fields have significantly varying opinions over questions of definition, methodology, and audience. One of the most obvious places of confusion and dissent surfaces around the belief that scholars of religion should pursue the same sort of intellectual objectivity as scholars in the secular academy. The VISOR team is amassing survey responses at visorproject.org as well as intentionally seeking out consultation and advisement from experts with diverse religious and political opinions.  Years active: 2015–Present.

Key Personnel