Search SBL

Meeting Program Units

2020 Annual Meeting

Virtual Meeting

Meeting Begins11/29/2020
Meeting Ends12/11/2020

Call for Papers Opens: 1/7/2020
Call for Papers Closes: 3/11/2020

Requirements for Participation

Mind, Society, and Religion: Cognitive Science Approaches to the Biblical World

Program Unit Type: Seminar
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: In 2020, the program unit organizes three sessions: (1) "Cultural evolution and cognitive historiography" (co-sponsored with the Cognitive Science of Religion unit of the American Academy of Religion). We invite scholars to submit a proposal for a paper or panel session who are using cognitive approaches to identify cultural evolutionary processes (e.g., social change, gene-culture co-evolution, transmission of information via social learning, imitation, prestige-bias, etc.) throughout history, especially in antiquity and the Ancient Near East. (2) "Psychological and Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR) approaches to ageing, death and mourning in the Bible" (joint session together with Psychology and Biblical Studies seminar). We invite papers that apply at least one psychological theory or cognitive science of religion (CSR) theory or approach to the study of ageing, death and mourning as depicted in the Bible or biblical world. Relevant topics include but are not limited to research on the sense of self when ageing, perceptions of the agency and personhood of the deceased, commemorative practices and interactions with funerary spaces, places, and objects, and rituals of mourning and grief as coping and as responses to crises. Proposals should identify the text(s) and/or artefacts to be examined and state clearly how psychological and/or CSR theories and approaches are utilized in the presentation. Reference to the ancient languages should be included where relevant. (3) The third session is open for any proposal using explanations from cognitive science to understand religious thought, experience, and practice.

Program Unit Chairs

Jutta Jokiranta
Rikard Roitto

Propose a Paper for this Program Unit

If you are a SBL member, you must login before you can propose a paper for this or any other session. Please login by entering your SBL member number on the left in the Login box.

For all other persons wanting to propose a paper, you must communicate directly with the chair of the program unit to which you want to propose. Chairs have the responsibility to make waiver requests, and their email addresses are available above. SBL provides membership and meeting registration waivers only for scholars who are outside the disciplines covered by the SBL program, specifically most aspects of archaeological, biblical, religious, and theological studies.

Questions About Membership?

  • Call 866-727-9955 Toll Free in the US
  • Call 404-727-9498 Outside the US
  • Fax us at 404-727-2419
  • Email us at


© 2023, Society of Biblical Literature. All Rights Reserved.