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Computational Phenotypes.

Religious studies today are witnessing new developments as a result of the application of cognitive methods to religious phenomena. It is surely time to address this research from a theological perspective, because what is at stake is nothing less than an understanding of religious experience, often very different from theological understanding. The ‘state of art’ of this research demonstrates some methodological opportunities for a better understanding of biblical and theological issues and, at the same time, exposes some problems and flaws. First, the cognitive approach to religion contributes to the reading of biblical texts in a different way and offers new hermeneutical tools with which to approach the writings of the Christian tradition. Second, it offers great insight into the so-called ‘mysteries of faith’, which can then be placed in relationship with some of the acknowledged limits of human cognition. Third, it provides a deeper insight into some classical and contemporary theological questions, such as: the meaning of the ‘covenant’, original sin, Christological and Ecclesiological issues, and the cognitive difference between Christian faith and other religions.