Religious Speciation : How Religions Evolve

This book presents a consecutive story on the evolution of religions. It starts with an analysis of evolution in biology and ends with a discussion of what a proper theory of religious evolution should look like. It discusses such questions as whether it is humankind or religion that evolves, how re...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Authors: Wunn, Ina 1954-; Grojnowski, Davina (Author)
Format: Electronic Book
Language:English
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Published: Cham Springer International Publishing 2018
Series/Journal:New Approaches to the Scientific Study of Religion 6
SpringerLink Bücher
Further subjects:B Religion
B Ethnology
B Religious Studies, general
B Social sciences Methodology
Online Access: Volltext
Parallel Edition:Erscheint auch als: 978-3-030-04434-3
Printed edition: 9783030044343
Printed edition: 9783030044367
Description
Summary:This book presents a consecutive story on the evolution of religions. It starts with an analysis of evolution in biology and ends with a discussion of what a proper theory of religious evolution should look like. It discusses such questions as whether it is humankind or religion that evolves, how religions evolve, and what adaptation of religions means. Topics examined include inheritance and heredity, religio-speciation, hybridization, ontogenetics and epigenetics, phylogenetics, and systematics. Calling attention to unsolved problems and relating the evolutionary subject matter to appropriate material, the book integrates and interprets existing data. Based on the belief that an unequivocal stand is more likely to produce constructive criticism than evasion of an issue, the book chooses that interpretation of a controversial matter which seems most consistent with the emerging picture of the evolutionary process. “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” the evolutionary biologist and co-founder of the so-called New Synthesis in Evolutionary Biology, Theodosius Dobszhansky (1900-1975), wrote in his famous essay of 1973, opposing creationism in American society. Today, Dobszhansky’s statement is not only fully accepted in biology, but has become the scientific paradigm in disciplines such as psychology, archaeology and the study of religions. Yet in spite of this growing interest in evolutionary processes in religion and culture, the term "evolution" and the capability of an evolutionary account have to date still not been properly understood by scholars of the Humanities. This book closes that gap
Chapter 1. Nothing makes sense except in the light of evolution… (State of research and critique of current evolutionary accounts in the Study of Religions) -- Chapter 2. What is Evolution? (An analysis of biological evolution.) -- Chapter 3. What does evolve? Humankind or Religion Itself? (That means: Is religion a by-product of our brain and is religion adaptive? Or are we in search for a theory of how religion itself evolves? These are very different questions!) -- Chapter 4. The question of the evolving unit. (What is the equivalent of the “species”) -- Chapter 5. How do religions evolve? (The search for the driving forces behind religious evolution: variability and selection) -- Chapter 6. The adaptation of a religion - what does it mean? -- Chapter 7. The “Natural environment” and the evolving religion (What is the environment to which an evolving religion has to adapt? - see our discussion in: Wunn & Grojnowski: “Ancestors, Territoriality, and Gods”, Springer 2016) -- Chapter 8. Inheritance among religions (What does the term “heredity” mean - as far as religions are concerned?) -- Chapter 9. Religio-speciation -- Chapter 10. Hybridization (What happens when two religions influence each other and become one?) -- Chapter 11. Ontogenetics and Epigenetics: Religions and the short-term adaptation to a changing environment -- Chapter 12. Phylogenetics or: a Tree of Life for religions -- Chapter 13. Systematics: How are the historical and recent religions related to each other? -- Chapter 14. The evolution of Judeo-Christian religion (an example. Also possible: The evolution of the religions of the Indian Subcontinent)
ISBN:3030044351
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-04435-0