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The Evolution of Godby Robert Wright
Synopses & Reviews
In this sweeping narrative that takes us from the Stone Age to the Information Age, Robert Wright unveils 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.--From publisher description.
A narrative examination of religion through the ages by the prize-winning author of The Moral Animal and Nonzero identifies a pattern that has emerged in the evolutions of forefront monotheistic faiths, drawing on a range of disciplines to challenge basic assumptions while explaining how science actually affirms the validity of spiritual quests.
Robert Wright is the author of Nonzero, The Moral Animal, and Three Scientists and Their Gods. He is a contributing editor to the New Republic, Time, and Slate, and he runs www.BloggingHeads.com, a rapidly growing Web site for intellectual discourse. He has also taught in the Philosophy Department of Princeton University and the Psychology Department at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in New Jersey.
Table of Contents
Pt. 1: The birth and growth of gods. The primordial faith ; The shaman ; Religion in the age of chiefdoms ; Gods of the ancient states — Pt. 2: The emergence of Abrahamic monotheism. Polytheism, the religion of ancient Israel ; From polytheism to monolatry ; From monolatry to monotheism ; Philo story ; Logos: the divine algorithm — Pt. 3: The invention of Christianity. What did Jesus do? ; The apostle of love ; Survival of the fittest Christianity ; How Jesus became savior — Pt. 4: The triumph of Islam. The Koran ; Mecca ; Medina ; Jihad ; Muhammad — Pt. 5: God goes global (or doesn't): The moral imagination ; Well, aren't we special? — Afterword: By the way, what is God? — Appendix: How human nature gave birth to religion.
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