Principal staff

RCC Director

Uffe Schjødt, Associate Professor, School of Culture and Society, Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University

 Uffe Schjødt is Director of the Religion, Cognition and Culture Research Unit at the Department of the Study of Religion (since 2016).  He is currently working on the effects of cognitive resource depletion and sensory deprivation in religious interactions and on the application of the predictive coding framework in the study of religious practice and experience. His research fields include: Cognitive Science of Religion, Psychology of Religion, Experimental Cognitive Neuroscience. Areas of interest: Social cognition, executive processing, predictive coding, emotion, and embodiment in religious thought and behavior, e.g. rituals and prayer.

Armin W. Geertz, Professor, Dr.Phil., School of Culture and Society, Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University

Armin W. Geertz is Professor in the History of Religions. He is former Director, currently Senior Consultant, of the Religion, Cognition and Culture Research Unit at the Department for the Study of Religion. He is chairmen of the board of the Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University.

He is Founding Member (Secretary General 2006-2010, President Elect 2010-2012, President 2012-2014, Past President 2014-2016) of the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion (IACSR). His main interests are cognitive theory in the study of religion; the religions of indigenous peoples; recent developments in contemporary religiosity, and method and theory in the comparative study of religions. He is editor of the monograph series Advances in the Cognitive Science of Religion (Equinox) and Senior Editor of Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion (Equinox Publishing). He has served as editor-in-chief of four monograph series in Danish and English on the study of religion and served on the board of eight international journals on the study of religion. He is the author of over 300 publications.

Kristoffer L. Nielbo, Associate professor, School of Culture and Society, PhD, Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University 

In his graduate research, Kristoffer L. Nielbo combined machine learning and gestural analysis to the study of cultural behavior. Subsequently (2012), he became Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Religion, Cognition and Culture Research Unit (Aarhus University), and Cultural Evolution of Religion Consortium (University of British Columbia). Currently, he is responsible for developing humanities data and digital humanities initiatives at Aarhus University. As a humanities researcher, Kristoffer L. Nielbo has specialized in the application of quantitative methods and computational tools in the analysis, interpretation and storage of cultural data. His research covers two areas of interest: 1) automated text analysis and 2) computational modeling of cultural behavior. Both interests explore the cultural information space in new and innovative ways by combining cultural data and humanities theories with statistics, computer algorithms, and visualization. 

Jesper Sørensen, Associate Professor, School of Culture and Society, Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University

Jesper Sørensen is research programme director at the Department of the Study of Religion (since 1 January 2017). He has a MA in the History of Religions (1996) focusing on a cognitive investigation of the use of metaphor as a persuasive strategy in the Theosophical Society and a PhD in the History of Religions focusing on cognitive underpinnings of magical rituals. He is currently involved in several projects investigating action representations and event-segmentation underlying ritual behavior as well as a project on the cognitive aspects of charisma and religious authority. He was formerly an International Fellow at the Institute of Cognition and Culture, Queen’s University, Belfast (2005-6) as well as an International Research Professor at the Memory and Development Lab, Washington University, St. Louis (2006). He has published widely on areas in the cognitive science of religion mainly focusing on ritual behavior in general and magic in particular. He is the author of the AltaMira Press book A Cognitive Theory of Magic (2006). He is a founding member of the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion (IACSR) and its former Secretary General (2012-2014).

Jeppe Sinding Jensen, Associate Professor, Dr.Phil., School of Culture and Society, Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University

Jeppe Sinding Jensen is former Co-Director, currently Senior Consultant, of the Religion, Cognition and Culture Research Unit at the Department for the Study of Religion. He holds a BA in Classical Arabic and Islamic Culture (1978) and a BA & MA in the History of Religions (1982). For several years he worked on contemporary Islam, mostly from anthropological perspectives. He gradually changed research interest towards semiotics, methodology and the philosophy of science in the study of religion, especially in relation to comparative studies. His ‘Habilitationsschrift’ (2003) is an attempt to provide a theoretical foundation for comparative studies. Since around 1990 he has also taken an interest in cognitive studies of religion - as these support comparative endeavors - and lately he was Founding Member of International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion and founding Editor-in-chief of the monograph series Religion, Cognition and Culture (London).