Academics awarded Templeton Foundation Grant
Dr Jocelyn Dautel, Dr Laura Taylor, Professor Aidan Feeney and Dr John Coley (Northeastern Univerisity) have been awarded over £350,000 by the Templeton Foundation Grant to join the Developing Belief Network in the collaborative study of cultural continuity and variation in the development of religious cognition and behaviour.
The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind. They support research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and emergence to creativity, forgiveness, and free will. The Developing Belief Network will coordinate international scholars in the collaborative study of cultural continuity and variation in the development of religious cognition and behaviour. This network addresses two critical gaps in current understanding of the development and diversity of religious beliefs. First, the developmental literature on this topic is limited by the lack of diverse populations sampled and the lack of methods for examining how religious belief is socialized and learned. Second, a growing body of scholars have independent research programs on developing religious concepts and practices. The Developing Belief Network will bring these research programs together to study the most critical and pressing questions about religious development. The Developing Belief Network will also collaborate with Databrary to build on the principles of open and collaborative science and will take an international, cross-cultural, multi-method approach.
Dr Jocelyn Dautel, Project Lead of the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland sites, says “We are delighted to be an inaugural research team of the Developing Belief Network investigating cognitive and cultural influences on belief in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and in collaboration with international scholars, exploring the development and diversity of religious and spiritual beliefs in over two dozen field sites around the world.”
The team are currently in the planning stage of a five-year collaborative project. Parents and children ages 4 to 8, will be invited to participate soon.