Background and activities
Gabriel Levy is a comparative historian of religion. He is Professor in the Science of Religion at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, where he teaches on method and theory in the scientific study of religion, middle-eastern religious history, and the relation between religion, science, and technology. Gabriel studies religions from a holistic perspective and looks for ways to integrate the harder sciences into scholarship in the humanities. He studies the ways religious individuals and groups imagine their communicative relations with superhuman agents, and particularly how various technologies of mediation, such as divination and literacy, change the way this relation is organized and embodied. To do this he draws on anthropology, philosophy, and the mind sciences. His first book Judaic Technologies of the Word (Routledge 2014) took insights from biology and the mind sciences to explore the effects of literacy on religious cognition and the origins of Judaism. Gabriel's most recent book Beyond Heaven and Earth: A Cognitive Theory of Religion (MIT Press) develops the groundwork for an anomolous monist (D. Davidson) approach to religion and apply it to specific real world examples, including fictionality, the concept of life, kabbalistic information, animal agency, and intimacy. Get it here.
- Masters (MA), Theoretical Approaches and Philosophy of Science in the Study of Religion
- Masters (MA), Materials and Methods
- Theories of Religion
- Seminar on Cognitive Approaches to Religion
Scientific, academic and artistic work
Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database
- (2022) Beyond Heaven and Earth: A Cognitive Theory of Religion. MIT Press. 2022. ISBN 9780262543248.
- (2021) Blasphemy as transgressive speech, a natural history. Blasphemies compared : Transgressive speech in a globalised world.
- (2020) You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But You Can’t Make It Drink. Method & Theory in the Study of Religion. vol. 32.
- (2018) Let There Be Light: The Word of God in the Jewish Tradition, Past, Present, and Future. AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies. vol. Spring.
- (2017) Can Fictional Superhuman Agents have Mental States?. Method & Theory in the Study of Religion. vol. 30 (4-5).
- (2017) Dynamic Perspectives on Defamation of Religion among Jewish NGOs. Religion, State and the United Nations: Value Politics.
- (2017) The effects of extreme rituals on moral behavior: The performers-observers gap hypothesis. Journal of Economic Psychology. vol. 59.
- (2016) Cognitive Linguistics and Religion: Surveying the Field. Religion: Mental Religion.
- (2015) Religion and Marketing: The Attractiveness of Religion as a Moral Brand. The Attraction of Religion A New Evolutionary Psychology of Religion.
- (2015) Evolution of the indoor biome. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. vol. 30 (4).
- (2014) Judaic Technologies of the Word: A Cognitive Analysis of Jewish Cultural Formation. Routledge. 2014. ISBN 978-1-13-885612-7.
- (2014) The Implications of Anomalous Monism for Intimate Selves. Altered Self and Altered Self-Experience.
- (2013) Judaism and Emotion: Texts, Performance, Experience. Peter Lang Publishing Group. 2013. ISBN 978-1-4331-1872-2.
- (2012) "False But Significant: The Development of Falsity in Religious Cognition in Light of the Holism of the Mental". Method & Theory in the Study of Religion. vol. 24 (2).
- (2010) "Rabbinic Philosophy of Language: Not in Heaven". The Journal of Jewish thought & philosophy. vol. 18 (2).
- (2010) Review Essay: “Contemporary Theories of Religion, A Critical Companion”. Numen. vol. 57 (2).