The Modeling Religion Project (MRP) brings together simulation and modeling (SAM) experts and scientific study of religion (SSR) experts in a creative and ground-breaking collaboration. MRP aims to construct a simulation-development platform to support modeling the social dynamics of religion using cognitively complex agents. The Complex Learner Agent Simulation Platform (CLASP) will allow modelers to specify the cognitive, emotional, and social characteristics of agents, the causal architecture governing how those characteristics interact, the processes by which agents learn from one another, and the types of groups that agents can form—with no coding. This in turn will facilitate testing of theories of religion through virtual experimentation. A Civilizational Transformation Model (CTM) will be developed using CLASP to simulate the role of religion in large-scale civilizational change. The development of CTM will require conceptual breakthroughs in the integration of the major theories of religion and the interrelation of their postulated causal mechanisms in order to create the virtual minds of the model’s interacting agents. MRP includes a training component to introduce doctoral students and post-doctoral associates to the complexities of modeling religion using SAM techniques; and an outreach component to explain the benefits of SAM in SSR. MRP also proposes to develop a letter of intent to JTF for an RFP related to religion and simulation, with the aim of making the potential of SAM more widely known and more clearly understood within SSR. The project team’s entire collection of grant activities will be guided by a small group of world-class consultants with expertise in relevant fields. This consultation group will meet twice to discuss every aspect of the project, from theoretical and technical issues in modeling religion to strategic questions about how to introduce the potentially revolutionary benefits of SAM into the academic study of religion.
Templeton.org is in English. Only a few pages are translated into other languages.
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