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Religion och Qualia: I gränslandet mellan medvetandestudier och religionsvetenskap
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Sustainable development
Sustainable development according to the University's criteria is not relevant for the essay/thesis
Abstract [en]

Up to this date there are several scientific disciplines that deal with religion´s underlying mechanisms and certain functions of our consciousness, but there isn´t anyone who takes into account the entire aspect of consciousness. The aim of the present work is to bring the entire aspect of our consciousness into the scientific discussion of religion. To help in doing this, the philosophical concept of qualia is used. First the concept is problematized, then an examination whether the concept has explanatory value in the science of religion and in the understanding of religious experience is done.  The concept of qualia has in this manner been applied to several scientific theories of religion and place-related entity continuity has been used as an example of religious experience. The present work is developed as a literature study and uses literature and theories from de scientific disciplines of philosophy of mind, cognitive neuroscience, neurotheology, cognitive science of religion and psychology of religion. As an underlying method the epistemological theory of holistic coherentism is used because it enables such an interdisciplinary study as this work is.


What this work shows is that qualia have a high explanatory value in the science of religion and in the understanding of religious experience and how we form religious concepts. However, the concept of qualia is problematic and great care must be exercised when inferences are made. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 31 p.
Keyword [en]
Qualia, Neurotheology, Cognitive science of religion, Philosophy of religion, Psychology of religion, Consciousness studies, Place-related entity continuity
Keyword [sv]
Qualia, Neuroteologi, Kognitionsvetenskapliga religionsstudier, religionsfilosofi, religionspsykologi, medvetandestudier, platsbunden entitetskontinuitet
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21138OAI: diva2:898569
Subject / course
Religious studies
Educational program
no programme (freestanding course)
Available from: 2016-03-04 Created: 2016-01-28 Last updated: 2016-03-04Bibliographically approved

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