“The Construction of the Supernatural in Euro-American Cultures: Something Nice about Vampires” by Benson Saler

"The Construction of the Supernatural in Euro-American Cultures: Something Nice about Vampires" by Benson Saler

"This book describes aspects of the concept of the supernatural from the intellectual history of Euro-American cultures. These samplings shed light on issues in the study of religions and religion rather than attempting to provide either a lineally coherent or exhaustive account of a somewhat fraught and complicated notion. Observations include uses of the term among the ancient Greeks and medieval Christian theologians and 19th- and 20th-century social scientists. This book highlights more recent academics who draw on the cognitive and evolutionary sciences in attempting to make sense of recurrent features of the representations and meta-representations of different cultures. This includes such counter-intuitive notions as ‚Äúthe mysterious‚ÄĚ among the Wayuu of Columbia and Venezuela and ‚Äúvampires‚ÄĚ in Europe and North America.

These observations are concluded in a final essay ‚ÄĒ Toward a Realistic and Relevant Science of Religion ‚ÄĒ which presents considered opinions on how we might draw on the cognitive and evolutionary sciences to establish the foundations for a genuinely scientific study of religions and religion."