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Discovering God: The Origins of the Great Religions and the Evolution of Belief

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Discovering God: The Origins of the Great Religions and the Evolution of Belief Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Discovering God is a monumental history of the origins of the great religions from the Stone Age to the Modern Age. Sociologist Rodney Stark surveys the birth and growth of religions around the world--from the prehistoric era of primal beliefs; the history of the pyramids found in Iraq, Egypt, Mexico, and Cambodia; and the great Axial Age of Plato, Zoroaster, Confucius, and the Buddha, to the modern Christian missions and the global spread of Islam. He argues for a free-market theory of religion and for the controversial thesis that under the best, unimpeded conditions, the true, most authentic religions will survive and thrive. Among his many conclusions:

Despite decades of faulty reports that early religions were crude muddles of superstition, it turns out that primitive humans had surprisingly sophisticated notions about God and Creation.

The idea of sin appeared suddenly in the sixth century BCE and quickly reshaped religious ideas from Europe to China.

Some major world religions seem to lack any plausible traces of divine inspiration.

Ironically, some famous figures who attempted to found Godless religions ended up being worshiped as Gods.

Most people believe in the existence of God (or Gods), and this has apparently been so throughout human history. Many modern biologists and psychologists reject these spiritual ideas, especially those about the existence of God, as delusional. They claim that religion is a primitive survival mechanism that should have been discarded as humans evolved beyond the stage where belief in God served any useful purpose--that in modern societies, faith is a misleading crutch and an impediment to reason. In DiscoveringGod, award-winning sociologist Rodney Stark responds to this position, arguing that it is our capacity to understand God that has evolved--that humans now know much more about God than they did in ancient times.

Synopsis:

Winner of the 2008 Christianity Today Award of Merit in Theology/Ethics

The History of God

In Discovering God, award-winning sociologist Rodney Stark presents a monumental history of the origins of the great religions from the Stone Age to the Modern Age and wrestles with the central questions of religion and belief.

About the Author

Rodney Stark is the Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and codirector of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. His previous books include The Rise of Christianity, God's Battalions, Cities of God, and Discovering God, which won the 2008 Award of Merit for Theology/Ethics from Christianity Today.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061626012
Author:
Stark, Rodney
Publisher:
HarperOne
Author:
by Rodney Stark
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Sociology of Religion
Subject:
History
Subject:
Religions
Subject:
General Juvenile Fiction
Subject:
Religion Eastern-Philosophy General
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series Volume:
The Origins of the G
Publication Date:
20081202
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 3 to 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.24 in 18.4 oz
Age Level:
from 8 to 12

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Related Subjects


Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Philosophy General
Religion » Western Religions » General and Comparative Religion
Religion » Western Religions » Social and Political Issues

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Product details 496 pages HarperOne - English 9780061626012 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

Winner of the 2008 Christianity Today Award of Merit in Theology/Ethics

The History of God

In Discovering God, award-winning sociologist Rodney Stark presents a monumental history of the origins of the great religions from the Stone Age to the Modern Age and wrestles with the central questions of religion and belief.

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