In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion

Framsida
Oxford University Press, USA, 2002 - 348 sidor
"In this interdisciplinary book, Scott Atran addresses these questions and more as he attempts to map the evolutionary landscape of religion. He argues that current explanations for religion do not sufficiently explain society's committments to a logically absurd world of supernatural causes and beings, questioning why evolution did not select against such curiously costly beliefs and behaviors as making gigantic pyramids to house the dead, blowing oneself up for the pleasures of paradise, sacrificing one's children as a measure of religious sincerity, or setting aside large chunks of time to mumble incoherent words repititiously. Observing the limitations of most functional explanations for the cultural power of religion, he proposes that religion is less an adaptation to a specific function (or collective need) than a natural basin of possibilities to which human lives spontaneously converge.
 

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An Evolutionary Riddle
3
EVOLUTIONARY SOURCES
19
ABSURD COMMITMENTS
81
A photogallery
147
RITUAL PASSIONS
147
MINDBLIND THEORIES
197
Notes
281
References
301
Index
337
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Om författaren (2002)


Scott Atran is a Director of Research at the Institut Jean Nicod at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris. He is also Adjunct Professor of Anthropology, Psychology, and Natural Resources and the Environment at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. A respected cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, his publications include Fondement de l'histoire naturelle, Cognitive Foundations of Natural History: Towards an Anthropology of Science, and Folk Biology. He has done long-term fieldwork in the Middle East and has also written and experimented extensively on the ways scientists and ordinary people categorize and reason about nature. He currently directs an international, multidisciplinary project on the natural history of the Lowland Maya.

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