In the Name of God
The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence
Blackwell Public Philosophy Series
1. Edition April 2010
2010. 288 Pages, Hardcover
ISBN 978-1-4051-8382-6 - John Wiley & Sons
Also available as Softcover.
E-Books are also available on all known E-Book shops.
Religion is one of the most powerful forces running through human history, and although often presented as a force for good, its impact is frequently violent and divisive. This provocative work brings together cutting-edge research from both evolutionary and cognitive psychology to help readers understand the psychological structure of religious morality and the origins of religious violence.
* Introduces a fundamentally new approach to the analysis of religion in a style accessible to the general reader
* Applies insights from evolutionary and cognitive psychology to both Judaism and Christianity, and their texts, to help understand the origins of religious violence
* Argues that religious violence is grounded in the moral psychology of religion
* Illustrates its controversial argument with reference to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the response to the attacks from both the terrorists and the President. Suggests strategies for beginning to counter the divisive aspects of religion
* Discusses the role of religion and religious criticism in the contemporary world. Argues for a position sceptical of the moral authority of religion, while also critiquing the excesses of the "new atheists" for failing to appreciate the moral contributions of religion
* Awarded Honourable Mention, 2010 Prose Awards
From the contents
Introduction: Evolution and Mind
1. The Evolution of Morality
2. The Evolution of Moral Religions
3. Evolutionary Religious Ethics: Judaism
4. Evolutionary Religious Ethics: Christianity
5. Religion, Violence, and the Evolved Mind
6. Religion Evolving