- Religion Explained
author = Boyer, Pascal
name = "Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought"
language = English
release_date = 2001
isbn = ISBN 0-465-00696-5
"Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought" is a book by anthropologist
Pascal Boyerthat discusses the evolutionary origins of religious concepts. Through an examination of the mind's inference systems - how they work and how they have been shaped over time - Boyer suggests explanations of how it is that we have the religious concepts we do, and why they have been so culturally successful. Boyer presents evidence from many specialized disciplines including anthropology, cognitive science, linguistics and evolutionary biology to support the idea that a naturalistic explanation of religion is possible, and suggests that such an approach is necessary if the field and study of religion is going to make progress.
# What is the Origin?
# What Supernatural Concepts are Like
# The Kind of Mind it Takes
# Why Gods and Spirits?
# Why Do Gods and Spirits Matter?
# Why is Religion about Death?
# Why Rituals?
# Why Doctrines, Exclusion and Violence?
# Why Belief?
Reviews and Comment
David Klinghoffer, one of the nation's leading proponents of intelligent design, in the National Reviewsuggests that "Boyer's talk of "religion" is suspiciously generic" and that his work is "professorial noodlings" that beg the question and that "debunkers like Boyer ...have their own unconscious motivations (to undermine religious faith, after all, is to set oneself free of its many inconvenient strictures)." [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_19_53/ai_78692094/pg_2 Faith no more- Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought - Review] ]
Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, a professor of developmental psychology at the University of Haifa, called it "a milestone on the road to a new behavioral understanding of religion, basing itself on what has come to be known as cognitive anthropology, and pointedly ignoring much work done over the past one hundred years in the behavioral study of religion and in the psychological anthropology of religion." He continues: The clearest virtue of this book is that of dealing with the real thing. Even today, most scholarly work on religion consists of apologetics in one form or another, and we are deluged by offers of grants to study “spirituality” or teach “religion and science”. This all serves to make us forget that religion is a collection of fantasies about spirits, and Boyer indeed aims to teach us about the world of the spirits in the grand tradition of the Enlightenment."
Evolutionary psychology of religion
* Greek translation by
Dimitris Xygalatasand Nikolas Roubekas as "Και ο Άνθρωπος Έπλασε τους Θεούς", Thessaloniki: Vanias 2008. ISBN: 9789602882252. [ [http://www.protoporia.gr/product_info.php/products_id/308148 Πρωτοπορία] ]
* French translation by as "Et l'homme créa les dieux: Comment expliquer la religion", Paris: Robert Laffont 2001. ISBN: 978-2221090466.
* German translation as "Und Mensch schuf Gott", Klett-Cotta 2004, ISBN 978-3608940329.
Notes & References
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Religion — This article is about a general set of beliefs about life, purpose, etc.. For other uses, see Religion (disambiguation). Religious redirects here. For a member of a Catholic religious order, see Religious (Catholicism) … Wikipedia
Religion — Christentum, Judentum, Hinduismus, Islam, Buddhismus, Shinto, Sikhismus, Bahai, Jainismus Als Religion (lat: religio, wörtlich: ‚die Rückbindung‘. Auch zurückgeführt auf religere, ‚immer wieder lesen‘, oder religare … Deutsch Wikipedia
Religion — • The voluntary subjection of oneself to God Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Religion Religion † … Catholic encyclopedia
Religion and mythology — differ, but have overlapping aspects. Both terms refer to systems of concepts that are of high importance to a certain community, making statements concerning the supernatural or sacred. Generally, mythology is considered one component or aspect… … Wikipedia
Religion and happiness — have been studied by a number of researchers. The science of positive psychology has identified many components of happiness, and religion seems adapted to satisfy many of them. Some research suggests that both non religious and religious meaning … Wikipedia
Religion in Uganda — consists of several different religions, which unfortunately accentuate regional and ethnic differences separating people as different rather than binding them together as human beings.The National Census of October 2002 resulted in the clearest… … Wikipedia
religion, study of — Introduction attempt to understand the various aspects of religion, especially through the use of other intellectual disciplines. The history of mankind has shown the pervasive influences of religion, and thus the study of religion,… … Universalium
religion — religionless, adj. /ri lij euhn/, n. 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and… … Universalium
Religion in ancient Rome — Ancient Roman religion Marcus Aurelius (head covered) sacrificing at the Temple of Jupiter … Wikipedia
Religion of Humanity — Positivist temple in Porto Alegre Religion of Humanity (fr. Religion de l Humanité) was a secular religion created by Auguste Comte, the founder of positivist philosophy. Adherents of this religion have built chapels of Humanity in France and… … Wikipedia