In the Name of God: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence

In the Name of God: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence

Author(s): John Teehan

Published Online: 27 JAN 2010

Print ISBN: 9781405183826

Online ISBN: 9781444320695

DOI: 10.1002/9781444320695

Series Editor(s): Michael Boylan

About this Book

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

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