Boston 2017


Mind, Society, and Religion in the Biblical World
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Boston Common (Fifth Level) – Sheraton Boston Hotel (SB)Theme: Supercooperators: Costly Signaling Theory and Its Applications to Biblical Studies
The papers in this session discuss the evolution of human cooperation, focusing on costly signaling theory and its applications in Biblical Studies.

Jutta Jokiranta, University of Helsinki, Presiding (10 min)
Keynote presentation:
Richard Sosis, University of Connecticut
The Evolutionary Study of Religion: A Systemic Approach (30 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Jennifer Alexander, Vanderbilt University
Reading Matthew 19:12 as a Costly Signal (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
John Teehan, Hofstra University
Religion, Empathy, and Minimal Signaling (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Rikard Roitto, Stockholm School of Theology
Confession of Sins and Penance as Costly Signaling in Early Christianity (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Richard Sosis, University of Connecticut, Respondent
Istvan Czachesz, University of Tromsø, Respondent
Discussion (20 min)


Historical Jesus; Religious Experience in Antiquity; Mind, Society, and Religion in the Biblical World
Joint Session With: Historical Jesus, Religious Experience in Antiquity, Mind, Society, and Religion in the Biblical World
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Republic A (Second Level) – Sheraton Boston Hotel (SB)Theme: Jesus, Exorcism, and Spirit Possession

Angela Kim Harkins, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Presiding (5 min)
Colleen Shantz, St Michael’s College, University of Toronto
Diagnosing the Pathogen, Treating the Source: Spirit Possession as a Biocultural Phenomenon (25 min)
Pieter F Craffert, University of South Africa
Spirit Possession In The Jesus Traditions: A Neuroanthropological Perspective On Spirit Possession (25 min)
Giovanni Bazzana, Harvard University
Jesus and Beelzebul. Possession and Exorcistic Subjectivity in light of Anthropological Research (25 min)
Daniel Frayer-Griggs, Duquesne University
Jesus, “Meaning Response,” and the Return of the Unclean Spirit (25 min)
Break (5 min)
Panel discussion
Discussion (20 min)
General discussion
Discussion (20 min)


Mind, Society, and Religion in the Biblical World
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Grand Ballroom D (Fourth Level) – Marriott Copley PlaceAnne Katrine Gudme, Presiding
Daniel O. McClellan, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Cognitive Perspectives on Divine Agency in the Hebrew Bible (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Jessica M Keady, University of Helsinki
An Initial Exploration of Positioning Theory and Gender in the War Scroll (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Marcus Tso, Ambrose University and Seminary
Nature and Nurture: A Social-Cognitive Approach to Moral Emotions in the Qumran Sectarian Literature (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Gabriel Levy, Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet, Ismael Apud, Universidad de la República de Uruguay, Istvan Czachesz, University of Tromsø and Halvor Kvandal,
Theriomorphic Gods and Anthropomorphic Animals in Jewish and Christian Literature (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Paul Robertson, University of New Hampshire
Dreams and Shadows: Cognitive Science Approaches to New Testament Data (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)