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Dr Jonathan Lanman

DPhil, MSc  (Oxford), MA (Missouri)

Lecturer in Cognition and Culture and Anthropology

On Sabbatical Semester 1 2015-16

Assistant Director, ICC (Sem 2)

Phone: +44 (0) 28 9097 1173   


Office:  ICC, 2-4 Fitzwilliam Street

Dr. Lanman joined the School in 2012, after working as a Departmental Lecturer (2009-2011) and Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2011-2012) at the University of Oxford and a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of British Columbia.


Research Interests:

Dr. Lanman is interested in applying the methods and theories of both social and cognitive anthropology to issues in the study of religion, atheism, morality, and intergroup relations. His DPhil research yielded both a descriptive and explanatory account of atheism in the contemporary West, which he is writing up as a monograph. At present, he is collaborating with anthropologists and psychologists on an ESRC funded project, entitled Ritual, Community, and Conflict, to ascertain the effects of ritual on ingroup cohesion and intergroup relations across a range of contexts.  He is also, along with Co-Principal Investigators Harvey Whitehouse and David Sloan Wilson, working on an interdisciplinary project entitled Religion’s Impact on Human Life:  Integrating Proximate and Ultimate Perspectives, funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

Selected Publications:

 Lanman, J. (in press).  "An Order of Mutual Benefit: Charles Taylor and the Cognitive Science of Religion." Working with A Secular Age: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Charles Taylor's Master Narrative.  Zemmin, F.,  Jager, C., and Vanheeswijk, G. (Eds.) De Gruyter.

Buhrmester, M., Fraser, W., Lanman, J., Whitehouse, H., Swann. B.  (2015).  “When Terror Hits Home:  Fused Bostonians Saw Bombing Victims as Family and Rushed to Their Aid.”  Self and Identity, 14 (3): 253-270. 

Whitehouse, H. and Lanman, J. (2014).  "The Ties that Bind Us:  Ritual, Fusion, and Identification."  Current Anthropology, 55 (6): 674-695. 

Lanman, J. (2013).  "Atheism and Cognitive Science."  The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. Oxford:  Oxford University Press.

Lanman, J. (2012). “The Importance of Religious Displays for Belief Acquisition and Secularization.” Journal of Contemporary Religion, 27: 49-65.

Lanman, J. (2008). “In Defense of ‘Belief’: A Cognitive Response to Behaviorism, Eliminativism, and Social Constructivism.” Issues in Ethnology & Anthropology, 3: 49-62.

Barrett, J.L., Lanman, J.A. (2008). “The Science of Religious Beliefs.” Religion, 38: 109-124.

Cohen, E., Lanman, J.A., McCauley, R.N., Whitehouse, H. (2008). “Common Criticisms of the Cognitive Science of Religion – Answered.” CSSR Bulletin 37: 112-115.

Lanman, J. (2008). “Are We All Believers?” The Evolution of Religion: Studies, Theories, and Critiques. Bulbulia, J., Sosis, R., Genet, R., Harris, E., Wyman, K.,& Genet, C. (Eds.). Santa Margarita, CA: Collins Foundation Press.

Lanman, J. (2007). “How ‘Natives’ Don’t Think: The Apotheosis of Overinterpretation.” Religion, Social Anthropology, and Cognitive Science. eds. Whitehouse, H. and Laidlaw, J. (Eds.). Durham: Carolina Academic Press.

Entry on PURE research portal



Power, Ritual, and Symbol, ANT1004

Religion and Ritual, ANT3006

Evolution and Human Behavior, ANT7019

Cognitive Science of Religion, ANT7021