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That gods and spirits are construed very much like persons is probably one of the best-known traits of religion. Indeed, the Greeks had already noticed that people create gods in their own image.... All this is familiar, indeed so familiar that for a long time anthropologists forgot that this propensity requires an explanation. Why then are gods and spirits so much like humans?
Peppering his study with examples from all over the world, particularly the Fang people of Africa, Boyer offers plenty of evidence for his theory that religious institutions exist to maintain particular threads of social integrity. Though he uses the tools of evolutionary psychology, he is more careful than most EP proponents to avoid ad hoc and circular arguments. Best of all, at least to those unmortified at the idea of examining religion critically, his theories are potentially testable. Even if he turns out to be dead wrong, at least Religion Explained offers a new and powerful framework for thinking about our spiritual lives. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This book is based on many unnamed premises. I expected a clear scientific approach. Instead it is based on great storytelling and natural sensemaking attemps. Read morePublished 8 days ago by A. Tolk
I have never read a more stimulating presentation on the brain and religion. I kept a dictionary close at hand. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dake Skillman
This book was a bit of a disappointment. I expected it to focus why humans have religion. Instead it focused on how various religions developed.Published 3 months ago by R. D. Veitch
Kindle edition: The table of Contents exists only in the GOTO tabs. The headings are too long to read there. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
One thing that most humans have in common is a religion of one kind or another. If an unexplained event, good or bad, occurs in your life, then you can blame, or thank, one of... Read morePublished 6 months ago by LastRanger
Fascinating stuff, now over 10 years old, about modularity of mind and how the nature of the brain/mind and evolutionary necessity has left us vulnerable to superstition. Read morePublished 7 months ago by D K
I'm reading this book in conjunction with the coursera.com class, "A Brief History of Humankind." The course professor, Dr. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Julia Mira
This is one of the best books about the issue of religion that I ever read. Informative and insightful! I strongly recommend this book to everyone who wants to understand more.Published 14 months ago by Martin Palecek