Earlier I posted about a recent article by Justin Barrett. During the Calvin College seminar last year, Barrett also told the participants about a book that he was in the process of writing. It wasn’t his Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology: From Human Minds to Divine Minds (Templeton Press 2011; also available in a very affordable kindle-edition) which appeared a couple of months ago – a book which, by the way, is a brilliant introduction to the cognitive science of religion, as is his earlier Why Would Anyone Believe in God? (AltaMira Press 2004) – but a book which had something with “children” in the title. Today I found out which book he was referring to.
It turns out the book is titled Born Believers: The Science of Children’s Religious Belief (Free Press 2012; also available in kindle-edition), and it will come out coming March. During the seminar we read several drafts of early chapters of this book, and for those interested in the CSR I can highly recommend it. As with his other books, Barrett has an engaging and very non-academic style, mingling his own experiences with top-notch cognitive science. While reading about very cleverly constructed experiments that try to take a peak into even the youngest children’s minds, you also learn a lot about the workings of your own mind. And you’ll see that religious belief isn’t something merely cultural, but locks into the very basic workings of the human mind.
I’m really looking forward to reading the book and discussing it with Barrett during the second seminar at Calvin College, which will take place in the summer of 2012…
UPDATE, March 19, 2012: As of today the book ships from Amazon.com/de/etc. Amazon.de (the German site) also has the book in store and available for shipping on the release date (March 20). You can order the book HERE.