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      Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them 

      Conspiracy Theories and Religion

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      Oxford University Press

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          Abstract

          Religious ‘beliefs’ are more often situational than propositional. Reading reported conspiracy beliefs the same way deepens our understanding of their function and appeal. Ideas shared by both religion and conspiracy theories—including the paranormal, esotericism, millennialism, and prophecy—are varieties of the rejected knowledge of the “cultic milieu.” The distrust of epistemic and institutional authority in these fields leads to a profusion of syncretic “grand explanatory narratives,” which make meaning and explain away the apparently anomalous or morally perplexing. A religious studies perspective not only clarifies the social function of such ideas, but also offers tools for understanding the people who believe in conspiracy theories in a more human and productive light.

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          Book Chapter
          December 27 2018
          December 20 2018
          : 411-421
          10.1093/oso/9780190844073.003.0028
          359a4890-9919-4698-aa77-e69d76de4f26
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