Supernatural as Natural: A Biocultural Approach to Religion by Michael Winkelman, John R. Baker

By Michael Winkelman, John R. Baker

Publish yr note: First released in 2010 through Pearson Education

This publication presents a common advent to the organic and evolutionary bases of faith and is appropriate for introductory point classes within the anthropology and psychology of faith and comparative religion.

Why did human ancestors in all places undertake spiritual ideals and customs? The presence and endurance of many spiritual good points around the globe and time means that it truly is usual for people to think within the supernatural.

In this new textual content, the authors discover either the organic and cultural dimensions of faith and the evolutionary origins of spiritual positive aspects.

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Extra info for Supernatural as Natural: A Biocultural Approach to Religion

Sample text

Aided by the very nobility whose rule it legitimized, the Church acted—often with great force—to eradicate alternative beliefs. The It is Our will that all the peoples who are ruled by the administration of Our Clemency shall practice that religion which the divine Peter the Apostle transmitted to the Romans, as the religion which he introduced makes clear even unto this day. It is evident that this is the religion that is followed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic sanctity; that is, according to the apostolic discipline and the evangelic doctrine, we shall believe in the single Deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, under the concept of equal majesty and of the Holy Trinity.

To be redeemed, the adherents of all of these other religious traditions needed to learn about and adopt Christianity, the one “true” religion that had developed in the West. Similar thinking demanded that other societies also adopt Western systems of politics and economics, and even dress. It was not always like this. During the Roman Republic and in the early Empire, the Roman government permitted the peoples it conquered to retain most of their customs, including their religions. As the Empire expanded, new temples to “foreign” deities were built alongside established temples, often in the capital itself.

A feature that is a part of all aspects of anything religious can be considered as a religious universal. Given the diversity of religious activities, such universals are rare. One likely religious universal is the assumption of a spirit or supernatural domain. Cultural universals of religion are features of religiosity found in all cultures, although not necessarily part of all of the rituals of any culture. For example, religious techniques for producing unusual experiences and states of consciousness are found in all cultures, but these cultures also have religious activities that do not involve such experiences.

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