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The Cultural Evolution of Religion

Bulbulia, Joseph; Geertz, Armin w.; Atkinson, Quentin D.; Cohen, Emma; Evans, Nicholas; Francois, Pieter; Gintis, Herbert; Gray, Russell; Henrich, Joseph; Jordon, Fiona M.; Norenzayan, Ara; Richerson, Peter J.; Slingerland, Edward; Turchin, Peter; Whitehouse, Harvey; Widlock, Thomas; Wilson, David S.


Religion may be one factor that enabled large-scale complex human societies to evolve. Utilizing a cultural evolutionary approach, this chapter seeks explanations for patterns of complexity and variation in religion within and across groups, over time. Properties of religious systems (e.g., rituals, ritualized behaviors, overimitation, synchrony, sacred values) are examined at different social scales, from small-scale forager to large-scale urban societies. The role of religion in transitional...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2013
Type: Book chapter
Book Title: Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Language, and Religion
DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019750.003.0020
Access Rights: Open Access


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