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The Evolution of God

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The Evolution of God Cover

ISBN13: 9780316734912
ISBN10: 0316734918
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

Robert Wright's The Evolution of God is a fascinating history of religion in all its forms, from the beginning stirrings of theology to the conflicting faiths we live with today. This intelligent, accessible, and thorough book gives us new insight into our spiritual evolution.
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"The title of Robert Wright's new book — The Evolution of God — will surely put some people off; indeed it seems designed to do so. So many religious believers in the U.S. have so much antipathy toward the idea that evolution might explain anything, it seems highly unlikely that many of them will pick up a book whose title suggests that God, of all things, might have evolved — let alone (dare I mention it?) a book containing a chapter titled 'Survival of the Fittest Christianity.'" Troy Jollimore, truthdig (read the entire truthdig review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this sweeping narrative that takes us from the Stone Age to the Information Age, Robert Wright unveils an astonishing discovery: there is a hidden pattern that the great monotheistic faiths have followed as they have evolved. Through the prisms of archaeology, theology, and evolutionary psychology, Wright's findings overturn basic assumptions about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and are sure to cause controversy. He explains why spirituality has a role today, and why science, contrary to conventional wisdom, affirms the validity of the religious quest. And this previously unrecognized evolutionary logic points not toward continued religious extremism, but future harmony.

Nearly a decade in the making, The Evolution of God is a breathtaking re-examination of the past, and a visionary look forward.

Review:

"In his illuminating book, The Moral Animal, Wright introduced evolutionary psychology and examined the ways that the morality of individuals might be hard-wired by nature rather than influenced by culture. With this book, he expands upon that work, turning now to explore how religion came to define larger and larger groups of people as part of the circle of moral consideration. Using a nave and antiquated approach to the sociology and anthropology of religion, Wright expends far too great an effort covering well-trod territory concerning the development of religions from 'primitive' hunter-gatherer stages to monotheism. He finds in this evolution of religion, however, that the great monotheistic (he calls them 'Abrahamic,' a term not favored by many religion scholars) religions — Christianity, Islam, Judaism — all contain a code for the salvation of the world. Using game theory, he encourages individuals in these three faiths to embrace a non — zero-sum relationship to other religions, seeing their fortunes as positively correlated and interdependent and then acting with tolerance toward other religions. Regrettably, Wright's lively writing unveils little that is genuinely new or insightful about religion. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Thank God for agnostics. Over the last decade, our public conversation about religion has all too often degenerated into a food fight between the religious right and the secular left. Now comes journalist Robert Wright with a kinder, gentler approach: a materialist account of religion that manages (sort of) to make room for God (of a sort).

"The Evolution of God" is a big book that... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"In his brilliant new book, The Evolution of God, Robert Wright tells the story of how God grew up....Wright's tone is reasoned and careful...and it is nice to read about issues like the morality of Christ and the meaning of jihad without getting the feeling that you are being shouted at." New York Times

Review:

"Wright (Nonzero, 2001, etc.) joins the decade's bandwagon with a tome explaining away God as something people made up over time....'Traditional believers,' as Wright calls them, will find all this a difficult pill to swallow...Offers little new scholarship, but the in-depth approach yields original insights." Kirkus Reviews

Book News Annotation:

A contributing editor at The New Republic, Wright (New American Foundation) explores the history of religion and its future from a materialist standpoint, believing that the origin and development of religion can be explained by reference to concrete, observable factors such as human nature, political and economic conditions, and technological change. He covers the birth and growth of gods, the emergence of Abrahamic monotheism, the invention of Christianity, the triumph of Islam, and God going or not going global. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The prize-winning author of The Moral Animal and Nonzero presents a groundbreaking examination of religion through the ages.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Smudge, August 6, 2012 (view all comments by Smudge)
Wright's book is an outstanding historical and literature review of the concept of god, and how that led to Judaic monotheism. It's a fascinating, thought provoking, awe inspiring, eye opening read. This is a book that will have you saying "Wow!" out loud. Many times.
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Rian, November 13, 2009 (view all comments by Rian)
for me this book served as a nice introduction, primarily to the history of god as told by the abrahamic religions. beginning with the time prior to the old testament up until the time of muhammad. also provides an interesting perspective on todays form of religions.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316734912
Author:
Wright, Robert
Publisher:
Little Brown and Company
Subject:
God
Subject:
Religions
Subject:
History
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Spirituality - General
Subject:
Sociology of Religion
Subject:
Religions -- Relations.
Subject:
God -- History of doctrines.
Subject:
Comparative Religion
Subject:
Religion Comparative-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090631
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
567
Dimensions:
9.28x6.36x1.69 in. 1.84 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Philosophy General
Religion » Western Religions » Theology

The Evolution of God Used Hardcover
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$17.50 In Stock
Product details 567 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316734912 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Robert Wright's The Evolution of God is a fascinating history of religion in all its forms, from the beginning stirrings of theology to the conflicting faiths we live with today. This intelligent, accessible, and thorough book gives us new insight into our spiritual evolution.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In his illuminating book, The Moral Animal, Wright introduced evolutionary psychology and examined the ways that the morality of individuals might be hard-wired by nature rather than influenced by culture. With this book, he expands upon that work, turning now to explore how religion came to define larger and larger groups of people as part of the circle of moral consideration. Using a nave and antiquated approach to the sociology and anthropology of religion, Wright expends far too great an effort covering well-trod territory concerning the development of religions from 'primitive' hunter-gatherer stages to monotheism. He finds in this evolution of religion, however, that the great monotheistic (he calls them 'Abrahamic,' a term not favored by many religion scholars) religions — Christianity, Islam, Judaism — all contain a code for the salvation of the world. Using game theory, he encourages individuals in these three faiths to embrace a non — zero-sum relationship to other religions, seeing their fortunes as positively correlated and interdependent and then acting with tolerance toward other religions. Regrettably, Wright's lively writing unveils little that is genuinely new or insightful about religion. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "The title of Robert Wright's new book — The Evolution of God — will surely put some people off; indeed it seems designed to do so. So many religious believers in the U.S. have so much antipathy toward the idea that evolution might explain anything, it seems highly unlikely that many of them will pick up a book whose title suggests that God, of all things, might have evolved — let alone (dare I mention it?) a book containing a chapter titled 'Survival of the Fittest Christianity.'" (read the entire truthdig review)
"Review" by , "In his brilliant new book, The Evolution of God, Robert Wright tells the story of how God grew up....Wright's tone is reasoned and careful...and it is nice to read about issues like the morality of Christ and the meaning of jihad without getting the feeling that you are being shouted at."
"Review" by , "Wright (Nonzero, 2001, etc.) joins the decade's bandwagon with a tome explaining away God as something people made up over time....'Traditional believers,' as Wright calls them, will find all this a difficult pill to swallow...Offers little new scholarship, but the in-depth approach yields original insights."
"Synopsis" by ,
The prize-winning author of The Moral Animal and Nonzero presents a groundbreaking examination of religion through the ages.
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