Religion Explained: The Human Instincts That Fashion Gods, Spirits and Ancestors

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9780099282761: Religion Explained: The Human Instincts That Fashion Gods, Spirits and Ancestors

Paperback. Pub Date: 2002 Pages: 430 Publisher: VintageEbury Why are there religious beliefs Proven in the all Cultures Do they have features in common and why does religion persist in the face of science Pascal Boyer shows how experimental Findings in Cognitive Science. Evolutionary biology and cultural anthropology are now providing precise answers to these general questions. and providing for the first time real answers to the question: why do we believe

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Why are there religious beliefs in all cultures? Do they have features in common and why does religion persist in the face of science? Pascal Boyer shows how experimental findings in cognitive science, evolutionary biology and cultural anthropology are now providing precise answers to these general questions, and providing, for the first time, real answers to the question: Why do we believe?

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REVIEW: What's it all about? Cognitive anthropologist Pascal Boyer tackles this question in the unapologetically titled Religion Explained, and is sure to polarise his readers. Some will think it's an impermissible invasion of mental territory beyond the reach of reason, others will see it as the first step toward a more complete understanding of human nature--and Boyer is acutely aware of the emotionally-charged nature of his work. This knowledge informs his decision to proceed without caution, as he warns readers early on that most will risk being offended by some of his considerations. Laying aside one's biases as best as one can will bring great rewards; Boyer's wide scholarship and knack for elegant writing are reasons enough for reading.

That gods and spirits are construed very much like persons is probably one of the best known traits of religion. Indeed, the Greeks had already noticed that people create gods in their own image ... All this is familiar, indeed so familiar that for a long time anthropologists forgot that this propensity requires an explanation. Why then are gods and spirits so much like humans?
Peppering his study with examples from all over the world, particularly the Fang people of Africa, Boyer offers plenty of evidence for his theory that religious institutions exist to maintain particular threads of social integrity. Though he uses the tools of evolutionary psychology, he is more careful than most EP proponents to avoid ad hoc and circular arguments. Best of all, at least to those unmortified at the idea of critically examining religion, his theories are potentially testable. Even if he turns out to be dead wrong, at least Religion Explained offers a new and powerful framework for thinking about our spiritual lives. --Rob Lightner

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Why are there religious beliefs in all cultures? Do they have features in common and why does religion persist in the face of science? Pascal Boyer shows how experimental findings in cognitive science, evolutionary biology and cultural anthropology are now providing precise answers to these general questions, and providing, for the first time, real answers to the question: Why do we believe?. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099282761

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Why are there religious beliefs in all cultures? Do they have features in common and why does religion persist in the face of science? Pascal Boyer shows how experimental findings in cognitive science, evolutionary biology and cultural anthropology are now providing precise answers to these general questions, and providing, for the first time, real answers to the question: Why do we believe?. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099282761

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Book Description 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 28mm. Paperback. Most people, both today and for all of recorded history have some form of religious belief. Despite the rise of modern atheism, religion is as much a constant of our humanity as language o.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 448 pages. 0.321. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099282761

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. 2002. Paperback. Why are there religious beliefs in all cultures? Do they have features in common and why does religion persist in the face of science? This work shows how experimental findings in cognitive science, evolutionary biology and cultural anthropology are providing precise answers to these general questions. Num Pages: 448 pages. BIC Classification: HRAB; JM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 130 x 28. Weight in Grams: 312. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099282761

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