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religion and mythology

IntroductionIn this paper, I aim to examine the relationship between social and religious cognitionas proposed in a number of cognitive theories of religion, and suggest prospects forhow cognitive theories of religion can be enriched by insights from theories of socialcognition. Many theories propose such a relationship, namely that supernatural beingsare believed to have mental states or be minded like humans, but without discussingthis in detail. Philosophical and psychological discussion about social cognition ismuch older and further developed than the cognitive theories of religion. It is there-fore likely that including insights from theories on social cognition will be helpful andenriching. Although the literature on social cognition is vast, three main (groups of)

 302theories can be distinguished: the theory-theory, the simulation theory, and enactiv-ist theories. For our purposes, the cognitive theories of religion that propose a link between social and religious cognition can also be divided into two groups: thosethat consider supernatural minds to be similar to human minds, and those which seesupernatural minds as being (very) different. Since arguing for one theory of social orreligious cognition would require one or many more other papers, I will only discussthe main theories in each field and see how cognitive theories of religion can be en-riched by theories of social cognition. I will argue that enriching the existing cognitivetheories can result in a more accurate account of religious cognition and can help incombining different existing theories into an overarching framework