In Gods We Trust has ratings and 23 reviews. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human. Recommended by Caspar Henderson: “In Gods We Trust is not easy Scott Atran – an anthropologist who has studied cultures as different as. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Atran, Scott, In gods we trust: the evolutionary landscape of religion / Scott Atran. p. cm. — (Evolution .

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Their cognitive role is to mobilise a more of less fluid and open-textured network of ordinary commonsense beliefs to build logically and factually impossible worlds that are nevertheless readily conceivable and memorable.

Then in next steps he shows how completely wrong it is and how flawed the research behind it really is. Evolutionary Adaptations and Bods 3.

His treatment of the often disparate fields trsut psychology, anthropology, and biology avoids lapsing into the superficial. His thesis is that religious behaviour derives from tust evolutionary adaptation to help people function in a hunter-gatherer society. It seems that he is in the main trying to address contemporary religion, seldom older, never original forms. The natural tendency to see supernatural agents was then adapted to promote loyalty to the larger group, and replace selfish behaviour with a group morality.

Oxford University Press Amazon. Part 3 Ritual Passions. Once or twice Atran says that he is going ttust tell us how religion originated, but I cannot fathom what he thinks he has told us.

How to write a hods review Do Say what you liked best and least Describe the author’s style Explain the rating you gave Don’t Use rude and profane language Include any personal information Mention spoilers or the book’s price Recap the plot.

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The book is sprinkled with lists, chosen as examples in support of a point. While his content is interesting, it is written horribly – very dry and difficult to read.


He doesn’t go very deep – but it seems to me he holds a position seems to be incorrect in the light of recent results Still, the trail takes one to some very interesting vistas. I think I can best sum up my experience reading with the following: The contrast with the clarity of Pascal Boyer’s Religion Explained is remarkable.

The Protestant revolution was about replacing the authority of the church hierarchy with the book itself, made available by the printing press. Certainty about the truth means we have departed into the realm of religion. After reading much about god theory Hitchens, Dawkins, etc.

I would further find fault, arguing that, to the degree the brain is modular, their research is arguing for a reverse-diachronic reverse selection, i. For example, we can always find someone scientific-sounding enough to reassure us that genetically modified foods are a great danger.

So, this is a very specific review. Mar 28, David Withun rated it really liked it Shelves: He has done long-term field work in the middle east and has also written and experimented extensively on the ways scientists and ordinary people categorize and reason about nature.

His reason, perhaps the most original idea in the book, is that counterintuitive stories are easier to remember, and are thus more likely to be passed on. One face pretends to be humanist and universalist and is intended for show mainly to non-Jews. You submitted the following rating and review. Atran managed to combine the old and the new by relating the automatic cognitive operations to existential atrwn. Especially with adult, chronic PTSD sufferers such as war veterans, before-and-after the trjst s comparisons of religious belief, as well as the exact nature of change in belief, would surely be fertile neuroscience territory.

Repetition is often a feature of academic writing for the sake of thoroughness, but it feels like the editing was slipshod in some places. Recommended by Caspar Henderson: A History of Personality Psychology. Raw textbook This book is raw, dry textbook but highly informative and full of facts.


Emotionally powerful, and long-lasing ties among relatively small groups of individuals but hinders wider inferential elaboration and public dissemination of religious theology and cultural ideology. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human evolution just as the cognitive intervention, cultural selection, and historical survival of religion is an accommodation of certain existential and moral elements that have evolved in the human condition.

Displays are also more frequent than actual commitments, because they are usually less costly. Search my Subject Specializations: It is not likely, however, that natural selection has had the time to cause the difference. Although limited forms of communication among initiates may be tolerated, there are often sever penalties for those who dare talk about their experiences to others, including social ostracism, physical punishment, and the menace of supernaturally driven psychological harassment unto death.

It does cover a lot of interesting issues, some with questionable relevance to the topic of the book. The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion. We are thus equally free to cherry-pick whatever we want to believe from the tree of conflicting theories, ignoring how valid they are. Atran’s answer is simply that it literally means nothing.

‘In Gods We Trust: the evolutionary landscape of religion’, Scott Atran | openDemocracy

No matter one’s disagree or agreement with Atran’s theory, this book provides a wealth of knowledge, a great deal of insight, and a plethora of fuel for thought. The review must be at least 50 characters long. His chapters are loose clusters of related material lacking org Content wise a fascinating exposition of the evolutionary value of religion.

Eugene D’Aquili and Andrew Newberg are all wet on their attempt to associate specific and relatively small cortex areas with specific atraan that may tie in with, or be antagonists to, religiosity.