Religion Explained

Religion Explained

The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought

Book - 2001
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Baker & Taylor
A Professor of Collective and Individual Memory probes the commonality of religious beliefs throughout the worldÆs cultures, using anthropology, cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary biology to tackle this fascinating subject.

Perseus Publishing
Many of our questions about religion, says the internationally renowned anthropologist Pascal Boyer, were once mysteries, but they no longer are: we are beginning to know how to answer questions such as "Why do people have religion?" and "Why is religion the way it is?" Using findings from anthropology, cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary biology, Boyer shows how one of the most fascinating aspects of human consciousness is increasingly admissible to coherent, naturalistic explanation. And Man Creates God tells readers, for the first time, what religious feeling is really about, what it consists of, and how it originates. It is a beautifully written, very accessible book by an anthropologist who is highly respected on both sides of the Atlantic. As a scientific explanation for religious feeling, it is sure to arouse controversy.

Why are there religious beliefs in all cultures? Why are these beliefs so similar? And why do they persist in the face of science?

Book News
Drawing on theories and research in evolutionary biology and cognitive psychology, Boyer (collective memory and individual memory, Washington U., St. Louis, Missouri) claims to have final answers to such questions as why religion matters so much in people's lives, why there are several religions instead of just one, why there are churches and religious institutions, and why religion persists in an age of rational thought. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York : Basic Books, [2001]
Copyright Date: ©2001
ISBN: 9780465006953
Branch Call Number: 200 Boyer 2001
Characteristics: vii, 375 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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