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How Religion Evolved

How Religion Evolved PDF Author: Robin Dunbar
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0197631827
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 353

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Book Description
"For as long as history has been with us, religion has been a feature of human life. There is no known culture for which we have an ethnographic or an archaeological record that does not have some form of religion. Even in the secular societies that have become more common in the past few centuries, there are people who consider themselves religious and aspire to practise the rituals of their religion. These religions vary in form, style and size from small cults numbering a few hundred people centred around a charismatic leader to worldwide organizations numbering tens, or even hundreds, of millions of adherents with representations in every country. Some, like Buddhism, take an individualistic stance (your salvation is entirely in your own hands), some like the older Abrahamic religions view salvation as more of a collective activity through the performance of appropriate rituals, and a few (Judaism is one) have no formal concept of an afterlife. Some like Christianity and Islam believe in a single all- powerful God,

How Religion Evolved

How Religion Evolved PDF Author: Robin Dunbar
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0197631827
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 353

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Book Description
"For as long as history has been with us, religion has been a feature of human life. There is no known culture for which we have an ethnographic or an archaeological record that does not have some form of religion. Even in the secular societies that have become more common in the past few centuries, there are people who consider themselves religious and aspire to practise the rituals of their religion. These religions vary in form, style and size from small cults numbering a few hundred people centred around a charismatic leader to worldwide organizations numbering tens, or even hundreds, of millions of adherents with representations in every country. Some, like Buddhism, take an individualistic stance (your salvation is entirely in your own hands), some like the older Abrahamic religions view salvation as more of a collective activity through the performance of appropriate rituals, and a few (Judaism is one) have no formal concept of an afterlife. Some like Christianity and Islam believe in a single all- powerful God,

How Religion Evolved

How Religion Evolved PDF Author: Robin Dunbar
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0241431808
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 286

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Book Description
When did humans develop spiritual thought? What is religion's evolutionary purpose? And in our increasingly secular world, why has it endured? Every society in the history of humanity has lived with religion. In How Religion Evolved, evolutionary psychologist Professor Robin Dunbar tracks its origins back to what he terms the 'mystical stance' - the aspect of human psychology that predisposes us to believe in a transcendent world, and which makes an encounter with the spiritual possible. As he explores world religions and their many derivatives, as well as religions of experience practised by hunter-gatherer societies since time immemorial, Dunbar argues that this instinct is not a peculiar human quirk, an aberration on our otherwise efficient evolutionary journey. Rather, religion confers an advantage: it can benefit our individual health and wellbeing, but, more importantly, it fosters social bonding at large scale, helping hold fractious societies together. Dunbar suggests these dimensions might provide the basis for an overarching theory for why and how humans are religious, and so help unify the myriad strands that currently populate this field. Drawing on path-breaking research, clinical case studies and fieldwork from around the globe, as well as stories of charismatic cult leaders, mysterious sects and lost faiths, How Religion Evolved offers a fascinating and far-reaching analysis of this quintessentially human impulse - to believe.

How Religion Evolved

How Religion Evolved PDF Author: Brian McVeigh
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351514830
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 310

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Book Description
Why did many religious leaders—Moses, Old Testament prophets, Zoroaster—claim they heard divine voices? Why do ancient civilizations exhibit key similarities, e.g., the "living dead" (treating the dead as if they were still alive); "speaking idols" (care and feeding of effigies); monumental mortuary architecture and "houses of gods" (pyramids, ziggurats, temples)? How do we explain strange behaviour such as spirit possession, speaking in tongues, channelling, hypnosis, and schizophrenic hallucinations? Are these lingering vestiges of an older mentality? Brian J. McVeigh answers these riddles by updating "bicameralism." First proposed by the psychologist Julian Jaynes, this theory postulates that an earlier mentality existed: a "human" (the brain's left hemisphere) heard voices of "gods" or "ancestors" (the brain's right hemisphere). Therefore, ancient religious texts reporting divine voices were recounting of audio-visual hallucinations—a method of social control when early populations expanded. As growing political economic complexity destabilized god-governed states in the late second millennium BCE, divine voices became inadequate. Eventually, humans had to culturally acquire new cognitive skills (modern religions) to accommodate increasing social pressures: selves replaced the gods and history witnessed an "inward turn." This psychological interiorization of spiritual experience laid the foundations for the world's great religions and philosophies that arose in India, China, Greece, and the Middle East in the middle of the first millennium BCE.

The Faith Instinct

The Faith Instinct PDF Author: Nicholas Wade
Publisher: Penguin Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780143118190
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 310

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Book Description
A noted science writer offers a convincing case based on a broad range of scientific evidence for the evolutionary basis of religion.

Religious Speciation

Religious Speciation PDF Author: Ina Wunn
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3030044351
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 280

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Book Description
This book presents a consecutive story on the evolution of religions. It starts with an analysis of evolution in biology and ends with a discussion of what a proper theory of religious evolution should look like. It discusses such questions as whether it is humankind or religion that evolves, how religions evolve, and what adaptation of religions means. Topics examined include inheritance and heredity, religio-speciation, hybridization, ontogenetics and epigenetics, phylogenetics, and systematics. Calling attention to unsolved problems and relating the evolutionary subject matter to appropriate material, the book integrates and interprets existing data. Based on the belief that an unequivocal stand is more likely to produce constructive criticism than evasion of an issue, the book chooses that interpretation of a controversial matter which seems most consistent with the emerging picture of the evolutionary process. “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” the evolutionary biologist and co-founder of the so-called New Synthesis in Evolutionary Biology, Theodosius Dobszhansky (1900-1975), wrote in his famous essay of 1973, opposing creationism in American society. Today, Dobszhansky’s statement is not only fully accepted in biology, but has become the scientific paradigm in disciplines such as psychology, archaeology and the study of religions. Yet in spite of this growing interest in evolutionary processes in religion and culture, the term "evolution" and the capability of an evolutionary account have to date still not been properly understood by scholars of the Humanities. This book closes that gap.

The Evolution of Religion

The Evolution of Religion PDF Author: Joseph Abdul Bulbulia
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category : Evolution
Languages : en
Pages : 406

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Book Description
The Evolution of Religion is a unique transdisciplinary volume that gathers the latest research, debates, and programmatic visions of scholars studying religion from an evolutionary perspective. Anyone interested in the relationship of evolutionary science to religion will find insight and inspiration in this striking collection of fifty short essays from a diverse group of renowned international scolars. Here, God meets Darwin, and the conversation that ensues provides fascinating reading for those seeking to make sense of religion's place in nature.

The Evolution of Religion

The Evolution of Religion PDF Author: Edward Caird
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category : Christianity
Languages : en
Pages : 428

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The Evolution of Religion

The Evolution of Religion PDF Author: Edward Caird
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category : Christianity
Languages : en
Pages :

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The Emergence of Religion in Human Evolution

The Emergence of Religion in Human Evolution PDF Author: Margaret Boone Rappaport
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781032083827
Category :
Languages : en
Pages : 268

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Book Description
Religious capacity is a highly elaborate, neurocognitive human trait that has a solid evolutionary foundation. This book uses a multidisciplinary approach to describe millions of years of biological innovations that eventually give rise to the modern trait and its varied expression in humanity's many religions. The authors present a scientific model and a central thesis that the brain organs, networks, and capacities that allowed humans to survive physically also gave our species the ability to create theologies, find sustenance in religious practice, and use religion to support the social group. Yet, the trait of religious capacity remains non-obligatory, like reading and mathematics. The individual can choose not to use it. The approach relies on research findings in nine disciplines, including the work of countless neuroscientists, paleoneurologists, archaeologists, cognitive scientists, and psychologists. This is a cutting-edge examination of the evolutionary origins of humanity's interaction with the supernatural. It will be of keen interest to academics working in Religious Studies, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology, and Psychology.

Evolution, Religion, and Cognitive Science

Evolution, Religion, and Cognitive Science PDF Author: Fraser Watts
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191512443
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 288

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Book Description
The cognitive science of religion is an inherently heterogeneous subject, incorporating theory and data from anthropology, psychology, sociology, evolutionary biology, and philosophy of mind amongst other subjects. One increasingly influential area of research in this field is concerned specifically with exploring the relationship between the evolution of the human mind, the evolution of culture in general, and the origins and subsequent development of religion. This research has exerted a strong influence on many areas of religious studies over the last twenty years, but, for some, the so-called 'evolutionary cognitive science of religion' remains a deeply problematic enterprise. This book's primary aim is to engage critically and constructively with this complex and diverse body of research from a wide range of perspectives. To these ends, the book brings together authors from a variety of relevant disciplines, in the thorough exploration of many of the key debates in the field. These include, for example: can certain aspects of religion be considered adaptive, or are they evolutionary by-products? Is the evolutionary cognitive science of religion compatible with theism? Is the evolutionary cognitive approach compatible with other, more traditional approaches to the study of religion? To what extent is religion shaped by cultural evolutionary processes? Is the evolutionary account of the mind that underpins the evolutionary cognitive approach the best or only available account? Written in accessible language, with an introductory chapter by Ilkka Pyssiäinen, a leading scholar in the field, this book is a valuable resource for specialists, undergraduate and graduate students, and newcomers to the evolutionary cognitive science of religion.