Edited by Yair Lior and Justin Lane
The past two decades have seen a growing interest in evolutionary and scientific approaches to religion. The Routledge Handbook of Evolutionary Approaches to Religion is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems and debates in this exciting and emerging field. Comprising over thirty chapters by a team of international contributors the handbook pulls together scholarship in the following areas:
- evolutionary psychology and the cognitive science of religion (CSR)
- cultural evolution
- the complementarity of evolutionary psychology, cognitive science and cultural evolution.
Within these sections central issues, debates and problems are examined, including: Cliodynamics, cultural group selection, costly signaling, dual inheritance theory, literacy, transmitting narratives, prosociality, supernatural punishment, cognition and ritual, meme theory, fusion theory, sexual selection, agency detection, evoked culture, social brain hypothesis, theory of mind, developmental psychology, emergence theory, social learning, cultural cybernetics, cultural epidemiology, evolutionary and cultural psychology, memetics, by-product and adaptationist theories of religion, systems and information theory, and computer modeling.
This Handbook is essential reading for students and researchers in religious studies and anthropology. It will also be very useful to those in related fields, such as psychology, sociology of religion, cognitive biology, and evolutionary biology.
Chapter 1 | Introduction: Evolutionary Approaches to Religion – Yair Lior and Justin Lane
Chapter 2 | Introduction to Evolutionary Psychology – Justin Lane and Yair Lior
Chapter 6 | Sacred Values: Identity Fusion, Devoted Actor Theory, and Extremism – Kayla Bonnin and Justin Lane
Chapter 16 | Costly Signaling: The ABCs of Signaling Theory and Religion – Richard Sosis
Chapter 20 | Religion and Prosociality: The Naturalization of Norms – Connor Wood
Chapter 21 | Big Gods Theory: The Cultural Evolution of Social Complexity and Prosocial Religions – Yair Lior
Chapter 23 | Meme Theory – Justin Lane
Chapter 25 | Behavioral Ecology: Niche Construction and Religion – John Balch
Chapter 26 | Synthetic Approaches: At the Intersection of Evolutionary Psychology and Cultural Evolution – Yair Lior and Justin Lane
Chapter 28 | Cultural Cybernetics of Religion: Computation and Information Transmission in Religion – Justin Lane
Chapter 29 | Major Transitions in Cultural Evolution: A Dynamic Systems Approach – Yair Lior
Chapter 32 | Synthesis and Explanatory Pluralism – Wesley J. Wildman and David Rohr