Istvan Czachesz

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Czachesz, Istvan

Professor of Biblical Studies
Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies and Theology

Research interests

Early Christianity, Cognitive Science of Religion, Digital Humanities


Selected books:

Cognitive Science and the New Testament: A New Approach to Early Christian Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

The Grotesque Body in Early Christian Literature: Hell, Scatology and Metamorphosis. London and New York: Routledge, 2014.

Commission Narratives: A Comparative Study of the Canonical and Apocryphal Acts. Leuven: Peeters, 2007.


Selected articles:

"Evolutionary theory on the move: New perspectives on evolution in the cognitive science of religion," Unisinos Journal of Philosophy 19(3), 2018, pp. 263-271.

"Visionary Practices in the Fourth Book of Ezra," in J.N. Bremmer, V. Hirschberger, and T. Nicklas (eds), Figures of Ezra, Leuven: Peeters, 2018, pp. 51-78.

"Armaments and Ornaments: Mate-Guarding and the Origins of Religion," Religion, Brain & Behavior, 2018, doi:10.1080/2153599X.2018.1498014.

"Cognition, Culture, and Religion: Surveying the Field," in N. Clements (ed), Religion: Mental Religion, Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbook of Religion, Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2017, pp. 197-217.

"Die unbeholfenen Zauberlehrlinge in Ephesus (Die Söhne des Skevas): Apg. 19.11-17" (The Sorcerer’s Clumsy Apprentices; The Sons of Sceva; Acts 19:11-17) in R. Zimmermann et al. (eds), Kompendium der frühchristlichen Wundererzählungen. Band 2: Die Wunder der Apostel, Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2017, pp. 257-267.

"'Unser Sohn ist Magier geworden!' (Wunderbare Brandlöschung in Philippi): ActAndr(Greg) 12" (Our Son has Become a Magician!: Miraculous Extinguishing of Fire, Acts of Andrew 12), in R. Zimmermann et al. (eds), Kompendium der frühchristlichen Wundererzählungen. Band 2: Die Wunder der Apostel, Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2017, pp. 801-806.

"Cultural Evolution and Biblical Studies," in C. Gianotto and F. Sbardella (eds), Traiettorie antropologiche e storiche. Un omaggio ad Adriana Destro, Brescia: Morcelliana, 2017, pp. 239-255.

"Religious Experience Behind the Account of Isaiah’s Ascent to Heaven: Insights from Cognitive Science," in J.N. Bremmer, T.R. Karmann and T. Nicklas (eds), The Ascension of Isaiah, Leuven: Peeters, 2016, pp. 235-257.

"From Mirror Neurons to Morality: Cognitive and Evolutionary Foundations of Early Christian Ethics," in U. Volp, F.W. Horn, and R. Zimmermann (eds), Metapher – Narratio – Mimesis – Doxologie: Begründungsformen im frühchristlicher und antiker Ethik, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016, pp. 271-287.

"Network Analysis of Biblical Texts," Journal of Cognitive Historiography 3, 2016, pp. 43-67.

"Tours of heaven in light of the neuroscientific study of religious experience," Journal of Cognitive Historiography 2, 2015, pp. 34-54.

"How Can Evolutionary Theory Contritute to Biblical Studies?," in D.J. Chalcraft, R. Watson and F. Uhlenbruch (eds), New Directions in Biblical Studies: Social Scientific and Cultural Approaches, Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2014, pp. 16-38.

"How to Read Miracle Stories with Cognitive Theory: On Harry Potter, Magic, and Miracle," in R. Zimmermann and B. Kollmann (eds), Hermeneutik der frühchristlichen Wundererzählungen, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014, pp. 391-404.

"Jesus' Religious Experience in the Gospels: Toward a Cognitive Neuroscience Approach," in P. von Gemünden, D. G. Horrell and M. Küchler (eds), Jesus. Rezeptionen des Galiläers in Wissenschaft, Kirche und Gesellschaft. FS Gerd Theissen, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013, pp. 553-580.

"The Evolutionary Dynamics of Religious Systems: Laying the Foundations of a Network Model," in A.W. Geertz (ed), Origins of Religion, Cognition and Culture, Durham: Acumen, 2013, pp. 98-120.

Publications in CRIStin

  • Apud Pelaez, Ismael; Czachesz, Istvan. Creencias, Rituales y Memoria. Una introducción a la Ciencia Cognitiva de la Religión. Psicología, Conocimiento y Sociedad 2019; Volum 9 (1). ISSN 1688-7026.

  • Apud, Ismael; Czachesz, Istvan. The neuropsychology of religious experience. A review of different scientific approaches to the phenomenon / Neuropsicologia de la experiencia religiosa. Una revision de distintas aproximaciones cientificas al fenomeno. Estudios de Psicología 2019. ISSN 0210-9395.s doi: 10.1080/02109395.2019.1596373.

  • Czachesz, Istvan. Armaments and ornaments: mate-guarding and the evolutionary roots of religion. Religion, Brain and Behavior 2018. ISSN 2153-599X.s 1 - 19.s doi: 10.1080/2153599X.2018.1498014.

  • Czachesz, Istvan. Evolutionary theory on the move: New perspectives on evolution in the cognitive science of religion. Unisinos Journal of Philosophy 2018; Volum 19 (3). ISSN 1984-8234.s 263 - 271.s doi: 10.4013/fsu.2018.193.08.

  • Czachesz, Istvan. Ritual and Transmission. Oxford University Press 2018 ISBN 0191065064.s 115 - 133.s doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198747871.013.7.

  • Czachesz, Istvan. Magic. Oxford University Press 2018 ISBN 0191065064.s 187 - 203.s doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198747871.013.11.