Although it won’t be available for a few months, here is a heads up about a new book by Justin Lane, a long-time collaborator in modeling religion, and research associate at the NORCE Center for Modeling Social Systems.

It is called Understanding Religion through Artificial Intelligence and has just been announced on the Bloomsbury Academic website here.

“In Understanding Religion through Artificial Intelligence, Justin E. Lane looks at the reasons why humans feel that they are part of a religious group, despite often being removed from other group members by vast distances or multiple generations. To achieve this, Lane offers a new perspective that integrates religious studies with psychology, anthropology and data science, as well as with research at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

After providing a critical analysis of approaches to religion and social cohesion, Lane proposes a new model for religious studies which he calls the ‘Information Identity System’. This model focuses on the idea of conceptual ties: links between an individual’s self-concept and the ancient beliefs of their religious group. Lane explores this idea through real-world examples, ranging from the rise in global Pentecostalism, to religious extremism and self-radicalization, to the effect of 9/11 on sermons. Lane uses this lens to show how we can understand religion and culture today, and how we can better contextualize the changes we see in the social world around us.”