Gods Above: Naturalizing Religion in Terms of our Shared Ape Social Dominance Behavior

To naturalize religion, we must identify what religion is, and what aspects of it we are trying to explain. In this paper, religious social institutional behavior is the explanatory target, and an explanatory hypothesis based on shared primate social dominance psychology is given. The argument is th...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Sophia
Main Author: Wilkins, John S. 1955-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2015]
In:Sophia
Year: 2015, Volume: 54, Issue: 1, Pages: 77-92
Further subjects:B Euhemerism
B Social dominance
B Evolution of religion
B Phylogenetic bracketing
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:To naturalize religion, we must identify what religion is, and what aspects of it we are trying to explain. In this paper, religious social institutional behavior is the explanatory target, and an explanatory hypothesis based on shared primate social dominance psychology is given. The argument is that various religious features, including the high status afforded the religious, and the high status afforded to deities, are an expression of this social dominance psychology in a context for which it did not evolve: high-density populations made possible by agriculture.
ISSN:1873-930X
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/s11841-015-0461-5