Religion in human evolution : from the Paleolithic to the Axial Age

書誌事項

Religion in human evolution : from the Paleolithic to the Axial Age

Robert N. Bellah

Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011

  • : pbk

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注記

Includes bibliographical references and index

内容説明・目次

巻冊次

ISBN 9780674061439

内容説明

Religion in Human Evolution is a work of extraordinary ambition--a wide-ranging, nuanced probing of our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have most often imagined were worth living. It offers what is frequently seen as a forbidden theory of the origin of religion that goes deep into evolution, especially but not exclusively cultural evolution. How did our early ancestors transcend the quotidian demands of everyday existence to embrace an alternative reality that called into question the very meaning of their daily struggle? Robert Bellah, one of the leading sociologists of our time, identifies a range of cultural capacities, such as communal dancing, storytelling, and theorizing, whose emergence made this religious development possible. Deploying the latest findings in biology, cognitive science, and evolutionary psychology, he traces the expansion of these cultural capacities from the Paleolithic to the Axial Age (roughly, the first millennium BCE), when individuals and groups in the Old World challenged the norms and beliefs of class societies ruled by kings and aristocracies. These religious prophets and renouncers never succeeded in founding their alternative utopias, but they left a heritage of criticism that would not be quenched. Bellah's treatment of the four great civilizations of the Axial Age--in ancient Israel, Greece, China, and India--shows all existing religions, both prophetic and mystic, to be rooted in the evolutionary story he tells. Religion in Human Evolution answers the call for a critical history of religion grounded in the full range of human constraints and possibilities.
巻冊次

: pbk ISBN 9780674975347

内容説明

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice An ABC Australia Best Book on Religion and Ethics of the Year Distinguished Book Award, Sociology of Religion Section of the American Sociological Association Religion in Human Evolution is a work of extraordinary ambition--a wide-ranging, nuanced probing of our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have most often imagined were worth living. It offers what is frequently seen as a forbidden theory of the origin of religion that goes deep into evolution, especially but not exclusively cultural evolution. "Of Bellah's brilliance there can be no doubt. The sheer amount this man knows about religion is otherworldly...Bellah stands in the tradition of such stalwarts of the sociological imagination as Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. Only one word is appropriate to characterize this book's subject as well as its substance, and that is 'magisterial.'" --Alan Wolfe, New York Times Book Review "Religion in Human Evolution is a magnum opus founded on careful research and immersed in the 'reflective judgment' of one of our best thinkers and writers." --Richard L. Wood, Commonweal

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