Routledge, 2010. — 304 p. — ISBN 9781135252786What is it about religion that appeals to people? Why do religions and religious beliefs persist in the face of increasing secularisation, harsh criticism and even political persecution? Robert Hinde argues that it is not enough simply to criticize religion, we must understand it - not only how it causes so much conflict, but also how it brings comfort to many. Hinde, a distinguished scientist, draws on a wide range of psychological, developmental and evolutionary research to explore this fascinating question. This second edition of Why Gods Persist is designed for everyone interested in the subject, either as a student of psychology and anthropology of religion or as a follower of the current controversies over the value of religious belief. It tackles a complex problem without using jargon, draws examples from a wide range of religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, and provides helpful chapter summaries and references.Contens: Religion and science: the questions Some background issues What does it mean to say ‘I believe’? What are gods like? The development of beliefs Why do people believe in gods? The dynamics of belief and its relation to the social system Narratives Ritual: background considerations The form and sequence of ritual: magic The motivation and consequences of ritual Moral codes: background considerations Prosocial behaviour and reciprocity Other moral precepts Religious experience Social aspects of religious systems Why do religious systems persist? Where do we go from here?
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