Templeton Research Lectures
2007-2008 Annual Fellow: Dan Sperber


Dan Sperber, Research Professor at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, is the 2007-2008 Annual Fellow for the Templeton Research Lectures presented by the Vanderbilt CSRC Seminar in Religion and Science. Professor Sperber will present a series of lectures in April of 2008, entitled The Causes of Religion.

For more information on the lectures, click here.

Brief Biography
Dan Sperber is a French social and cognitive scientist. He is the author of Rethinking Symbolism ( Cambridge UP 1975), On Anthropological Knowledge (Cambridge UP 1985), Explaining Culture (Blackwell 1996). In these three books, He has developed a naturalistic approach to culture under the name of "epidemiology of representations". Dan Sperber is also the co-author, with Deirdre Wilson (Department of Linguistics, University College , London ) of Relevance: Communication and Cognition (Blackwell 1986 - Second Revised Edition, 1995). Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson have developed a cognitive approach to communication known as "Relevance Theory". Both the epidemiology of representations and relevance theory have been influential and also controversial.

Dan Sperber holds a research professorship at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, and has held visiting positions at Cambridge University, the British Academy, the London School of Economics, the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Princeton University, the University of Michigan, the University of Bologna, and the University of Hong-Kong.



Books by Dan Sperber

Droit, R-P. and Sperber, D., Des Idées qui viennent. Odile Jacob (1999).

Sperber, D., Explaining Culture. Blackwell (1996).

Sperber, D. and Wilson, D., Relevance: Communication and cognition. Harvard University Press (1986).

Sperber, D., On Anthropological Knowledge. Cambridge University Press (1985)

Sperber, D., Rethinking Symbolism. Cambridge University Press (1975).

Sperber, D., Le structuralisme en anthropologie. Le Seuil Collection “Points” (1973).

 

Templeton Research Lectures
2006-2007 Annual Fellow: Christof Koch


Christof Koch, Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology at the California Institute of Technology, is the 2006-2007 Annual Fellow for the Templeton Research Lectures presented by the Vanderbilt CSRC Seminar in Religion and Science. Professor Koch presented a series of lectures on his neurobiological approach to consciousness. The lectures were entitled The Problem of Consciousness in Philosophy, Religion, and Science.

For more information on the lectures, click here.

(click here to read an article on Christof Koch that appeared in the Nashville Tennessean)

Brief Biography
Born in 1956 in the American Midwest, Christof Koch grew up in Holland, Germany, Canada, and Morocco, where he graduated from the Lycè Descartes in 1974. He studied physics and philosophy at the University of Tübingen in Germany and was awarded his PhD in biophysics in 1982.

After four years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Koch joined the faculty at the California Institute of Technology in 1986, where he is now the Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology. He lives with his family in Pasadena, and loves to run and to climb.

The author of close to three hundred scientific papers and journal articles, and several books, Dr. Koch studies the biophysics of computation, and the neuronal basis of visual perception, attention, and consciousness. Together with his long-time collaborator, Francis Crick, he has pioneered the scientific study of consciousness. His latest book is The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach. For more information, see www.klab.caltech.edu.

Recent Books by Christof Koch

Koch, C., The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach. Roberts & Company Publishers (2003).

C. Koch and I. Segev, eds. Methods in Neural Modeling: From Ions to Networks. MIT Press (1998)

Koch, C. Biophysics of Computation: Information Processing in Single Neurons. Oxford University Press (1999)

Braun, J., Koch, C. and Davis, J.L., editors, Visual Attention and Cortical Circuits. MIT Press (2001)

Billock, J.G., Psaltis, D. and Koch, C. The Match Fit Algorithm: A Testbed for the Computational Motivation of Attention. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (2001)

C. Koch and I. Segev, eds. Methods in Neural Modeling: From Ions to Networks. Completely revised second edition. MIT Press (1998)

Koch, C., and Davis, J., eds Large-Scale Neuronal Theories of the Brain. MIT Press (1994)

Templeton Research Lectures
2005-2006 Annual Fellow: Rodney Stark

Rodney Stark, Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University, and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for Religious Inquiry Across the Disciplines, is the 2006 Annual Fellow for the Templeton Research Lectures presented by the Vanderbilt CSRC Seminar in Religion and Science. Professor Stark will present a series of four lectures entitled, Neglect and Dedication: The Dynamics of Ancient Religious Markets.  For more information on the lectures, click here.

Brief Biography
Rodney Stark grew up in Jamestown, North Dakota, and began his career as a newspaper reporter. Following a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, he received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where he held appointments as a research sociologist at the Survey Research Center and at the Center for the Study of Law and Society. He left Berkeley to become Professor of Sociology and of Comparative Religion at the University of Washington. In 2004 he joined the faculty of Baylor University. He has published 27 books and more than 140 scholarly articles on subjects as diverse as prejudice, crime, suicide, and city life in ancient Rome. However, the greater part of his work has been on religion. He is past president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and of the Association for the Sociology of Religion. He also has won a number of national and international awards for distinguished scholarship. Many of his books and articles have been translated and published in foreign languages, including Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Recent Books by Rodney Stark

The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success.
Random House, 2005

Exploring the Religious Life      
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004

For the Glory of God    For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery.
Princeton University Press, 2003

One True God: Historical Consequence of Monotheism
Princeton University Press, 2001

Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion. With Roger Finke.
University of California Press, 2000