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Psychology Distinguished Lecture, Dr. Ara Norenzayan, University of British Columbia

Friday, April 5, 2019
2:30 PM – 5:00 PM
School of Kinesiology and Health Studies
Room: Lecture: Kinesiology 101; Reception: University Club following lecture
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Lecture Title: The Psychology of Theodiversity

ABSTRACT: Most people in the world are religious, yet there is tremendous diversity in beliefs and practices throughout history and across cultures. In this talk, I present a program of research on the psychological antecedents and consequences of religion and religious diversity or “theodiversity.” I explore how diversity in religious beliefs and practices, some of them centered on the “Big Gods” of world religions promote large-scale cooperation, but also are implicated in intergroup competition and conflict. I also discuss how religious diversity, including different forms of disbelief, plays a role in intercultural relations and human-nature interactions in our globalized world.

BIOGRAPHY: Ara Norenzayan is professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, and a co-director of UBC’s Centre for Human Evolution, Cognition, and Culture (HECC). He has published widely on the evolutionary origins of religion, and the psychology of religious diversity in today’s globalized world. He is the author of Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict.

LiJun Ji/Meredith Chivers
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