Studia humana (SH) is a multi-disciplinary peer reviewed journal publishing valuable
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Christopher Corbally

Christopher J. Corbally, SJ, is a Jesuit priest on the staff of the Vatican Observatory and an Adjunct Associate Astronomer at the University of Arizona. As Co-Founder of the Human Sentience Project he continues his interdisciplinary interests in Earth- and space-based questions.



How an Advanced Neurocognitive Human Trait for Religious Capacity Fails to Form

Issue: 8:1 (The twenty nineth issue)
The authors present an evolutionary model for the biological emergence of
religious capacity as an advanced neurocognitive trait. Using their model for
the stages leading to the evolutionary emergence of religious capacity in Homo
sapiens, they analyze the mechanisms that can fail, leading to unbelief (atheism
or agnosticism). The analysis identifies some, but not all types of atheists and
agnostics, so they turn their question around and, using the same evolutionary
model, ask what keeps religion going. Why does its development not fail in
one social group after another, worldwide? Their final analysis searches for
reasons in important evolutionary changes in the senses of hearing, vision, and
general sensitivity on the hominin line, which together interact with both
intellectual and emotional brain networks to achieve, often in human groups,
variously altered states of consciousness, especially a numinous state enabled
in part by a brain organ, the precuneus. An inability to experience the
numinous, consider it important, or believe in its supernatural nature, may
cleave the human population into those with belief and those with unbelief.

Issue: ()

Science and Religion Shift in the First Three Months of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Issue: 10:1 (the thirty seventh issue)
The goal of this pilot study is to investigate expressions of the collective disquiet of people in the first months of Covid-19 pandemic, and to try to understand how they manage covert risk, especially with religion and magic. Four co-authors living in early hot spots of the pandemic speculate on the roles of science, religion, and magic, in the latest global catastrophe. They delve into the consolidation that should be occurring worldwide because of a common, viral enemy, but find little evidence for it. They draw parallels to biblical works, finding evidence of a connection between plague and “social strife.” They explore changes in the purviews of science, religion, and magic, and how and why they have changed, as three systems of covert risk management. They speculate on the coming wave of grief when the world populations finally decide that too many people have died, and they envision cultural changes on the other side of the pandemic, to lifestyles, travel, reverse urbanization, and living and working in smaller communities. Using an unusual approach named “crowd-sourced ethnography”, they conduct un-traditional ethnography and speculate on management of covert risk in their native countries.