Religion in Human Evolution
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30-05-2012, 03:47 PM (This post was last modified: 30-05-2012 03:58 PM by ghostexorcist.)
Religion in Human Evolution
Sociologist Robert N. Bellah has recently (as of Sept. 2011) published his magnum opus on the origins of human religion. It is called Religion in Human Evolution, and it covers the origins and development of religion from the Paleolithic to the Axial Age. He spends a great deal of time analyzing the religions of ancient Israel, Greece, India, and China. I am not that far into the book yet, but I like what I have read so far. There is much praise for the book, but there are some detractors. Most of the critical reviews that I have read state that the central thesis is sometimes lost due to the author cramming so much information into this almost 750 page book. I can understand where they are coming from. Bellah has been actively researching religion for the last 60 years, meaning he has an unsurpassed knowledge in the subject. I imagine that it would be hard stitching 5,000 plus years of religious history into a fluid thesis. Other critical reviews damn the book because it doesn’t treat the subject in a neutral manner (i.e., that gods could be real). That’s kind of silly in my opinion because I doubt those individual cultures believed that the other's foreign gods were real.

Look the book up if you get a chance.
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30-05-2012, 04:49 PM
RE: Religion in Human Evolution
(30-05-2012 03:47 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  Look the book up if you get a chance.


Thanks for the heads up. Looks great ! There are some links to his lectures and interviews on his own site :
http://www.robertbellah.com/religioninhu...ution.html
which include, an interview from http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment...om/243723/

I take it he is a practicing Episcopalian .. but "good relations with the Wookies, I have", also.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist
Political skeptic .. if there is a bad reason something bad might have happened, you can bet your ass, that's why it happened.
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30-05-2012, 06:18 PM
RE: Religion in Human Evolution
(30-05-2012 03:47 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  Sociologist Robert N. Bellah has recently (as of Sept. 2011) published his magnum opus on the origins of human religion. It is called Religion in Human Evolution, and it covers the origins and development of religion from the Paleolithic to the Axial Age. He spends a great deal of time analyzing the religions of ancient Israel, Greece, India, and China. I am not that far into the book yet, but I like what I have read so far. There is much praise for the book, but there are some detractors. Most of the critical reviews that I have read state that the central thesis is sometimes lost due to the author cramming so much information into this almost 750 page book. I can understand where they are coming from. Bellah has been actively researching religion for the last 60 years, meaning he has an unsurpassed knowledge in the subject. I imagine that it would be hard stitching 5,000 plus years of religious history into a fluid thesis. Other critical reviews damn the book because it doesn’t treat the subject in a neutral manner (i.e., that gods could be real). That’s kind of silly in my opinion because I doubt those individual cultures believed that the other's foreign gods were real.

Look the book up if you get a chance.

Any constructive synthesis of evolution and all out religions, even over 60 years and 750 pages seems like an admirable if not all but impossible task Consider
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