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Cognitive perspectives on Asperger’s syndrome, religion and spirituality
2011 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, the results from my master thesis are presented. The aim of the study was to explore whether mentalizing difficulties in individuals with Asperger's syndrome seems to affect their reasoning on communication and possible intentions in superhuman agents. The four young men who were interviewed in depth all define themselves as believers of different kinds, adhering either to Christianity or believing in superhuman agents such as spirits, ghosts and/or aliens.

Only two out of six expected approaches suggested by Dubin & Graetz (2009) were met: None of the informants showed any interest in using religious rituals to create structure in their lives, and neither did they interpret religious narratives literally. Similarly, the fifth and sixth of Dubin and Graetz’s expected approaches – which is the rigid approach and manic focus on religion - failed in my material. They did however seek to explain and understand things such as Biblical narratives, ghosts, spirits, reincarnation and mystical phenomena like the Bermuda triangle, through physical arguments. Moreover, there was no conflict between accepting spiritual phenomena and using scientific physical explanation, since they were able to apply both perspectives at once. I call this a “stereoscopical view” (similar to the ”logical creativity” suggested by Dubin & Graetz); looking with one eye at each subject and then joining them together. 

In conclusion, more empirical studies are needed to explore the reasoning on religion and spirituality in autistic individuals. I also argue that we need to cross-cultural comparisons to find out more about cultural impact in such reasoning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011.
National Category
Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-42538OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-42538DiVA, id: diva2:1693906
Conference
European Association for the Study of Religions
Available from: 2022-09-08 Created: 2022-09-08 Last updated: 2022-09-15Bibliographically approved

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Visuri, Ingela

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
More styles
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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