Religion and the Brain Project (2004-2006)

This project was dedicated to exploring important and controversial contemporary hypotheses about the relation between the brain, evolution, and religion. For example, does the human neurocognitive system exhibit specializations that support or mediate religious experience of various kinds? Are some core aspects of religious behaviors, beliefs, or experiences adaptive neurobehavioral systems? Or are they mere byproducts of an all-purpose big-brain cognitive system? That the brain somehow mediates some aspects of religiosity is a less controversial claim. But just how the brain manages that feat and what, if any, the implications are for biological anthropology, the neurosciences, theology, and society, remain unanswered questions.

Evolutionary Psychology and Religion Project (2005-2007)

This project was a year-long weekly reading-group and seminar at Boston University organized by Wesley Wildman. Attended by both graduate students and faculty such as Catherine Harris, Brian McCorckle, and Robert Neville, the seminar aimed to read and evaluate key works in the evolutionary psychology of religion. In the second year of this project, Catherine Harris and Brian McCorckle jointly offered a senester-long seminar for credit through Boston University's Psychology Department on these themes.

Intense Experiences and Epistemological Reliability Project (2006-2008)

This project involves a partnership between Wesley Wildman and IBCSR Post-Doctoral Fellow Nat Barrett (a graduate of Boston University’s Science, Philosophy, and Religion program). The aim is to investigate the senses in which the cognitions resulting from intense religious and spiritual experiences are reliable and unreliable, and to contribute to the treatment of this question in philosophy-of-religion literature by drawing in an ecological theory of perception that is more adequate than those currently under discussion.

The paper resulting this work has been submitted for publication. Details of its publication will be provided here when they become available.