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.
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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Little Brown and Company -
by Jill Owens,
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.
by Jill Owens
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"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 Troy Jollimore, truthdig,
"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)
by New York Times,
"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."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"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."
The prize-winning author of The Moral Animal and Nonzero presents a groundbreaking examination of religion through the ages.
In this sweeping, dazzling journey through history, Robert Wright unveils a discovery of crucial importance to the present moment: there is a pattern in the evolution Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and a "hidden code" in their scriptures. Through the prisms of archeology, theology, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology, Wright repeatedly overturns conventional wisdom to show how and why religion can strengthen the social order-even in an age of globalization-and explains why modern science is not only compatible with religion, but actively affirms the validity of the religious quest. Vast in scope and thrilling in ambition, The Evolution of God brilliantly alters our understanding of God and where He came from-and where He and we are going next.
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