Princeton University Library Catalog

Ancestors, territoriality, and Gods : a natural history of religion / Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski.

Wunn, Ina [Browse]
Berlin : Springer, [2016]
vii, 290 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Summary note:
This books sets out to explain how and why religion came into being. Today this question is as fascinating as ever, especially since religion has moved to the centre of socio-political relationships. In contrast to the current, but incomplete approaches from disciplines such as cognitive science and psychology, the present authors adopt a new approach, equally manifest and constructive, that explains the origins of religion based strictly on behavioural biology. They employ accepted research results that remove all need for speculation. Decisive factors for the earliest demonstrations of religion are thus territorial behaviour and ranking, coping with existential fears, and conflict solution with the help of rituals. These in turn, in a process of cultural evolution, are shown to be the roots of the historical and contemporary religions.
Bibliographic references:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Of Men and Apes -- The Crux of a Darwinian Approach to Evolution -- The Question of When? (Lower Palaeolithic, c. 2.6 mybp -- 300,000 ybp) -- My Cave is my Castle -- Middle Palaeolithic, Territoriality, and Death -- Existential Fears -- and an Excursus in Art History -- A Forest of Symbols -- the Art of the European Upper Palaeolithic (40,000-12,000ybp) -- The Change of Imagery (the Central European Mesolithic, approx. 9,600-5,800 ybp) -- Aedificio Ergo Sum (I build, thus I am). Early Settlers in the Fertile Crescent -- The village, the ritual, and death -- Ex Oriente Lux: Neolithic ideology becomes popular -- Heroes, Gods, Sanctuaries -- the male Principle and collective Cult -- The exchange of gifts and the Underworld: Malta -- The Double Axe and the Bull -- a Pantheon Develops.
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