In the late 20th century researchers in both science and the humanities recognized that the body was essential to cognition. References appear in a variety of fields, including postmodernism (Foucault, 1980), feminism (Braidotti 1991), philosophy (Merleau-Ponty, 1962), sociology (Bourdieu, 1990; Burkitt, 1999) anthropology (Csordas, 1995, McGuire 2002), cognitive science (Clark, 1997; Damasio, 1994; Lakoff and Johnson, 1999) and religious studies (Grimes 1995, Harris, 1996 and 1998, Peterson 2003).
Lakoff and Johnson claim that an “embodied spirituality is … an ecological spirituality” (Lakoff and Johnson, 1999:566), and embodied cognition plays a role in deepening environmental awareness and encouraging activism (Martin 1990, Harris 1996, Harvey 1997).
My focus is embodied situated cognition in Eco-Pagan practice. The practice of Eco-Paganism, in which embodiment, gender and environment are central, presented an ideal test case to apply embodied situated cognition theory using an embodied methodology.
I have sucessfully defended my PhD thesis and a summary will be available here shortly.
Last updated: 8 May 2008
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