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Religion and the Rise of Inequality
Egalitarianism of our hunter-gatherer ancestors was a necessity imposed by the absence of surpluses and of storage facilities. Once these constraints were removed, “aggrandizers” embarked on the pathExpand
An Illusion, a Capability, a Tendency: Formation of Groups and the Encounter with Gods
Supernatural beings evolved out of animated non humans. Early modern humans performed rituals to gain the favors of non-humans, to whom they had attributed human features. During rituals, rhythmicExpand
Religion and Historical Divergences in Economic Performance
Along with other reasons, (such as the absence of corporations, ban on interest and speculation, absence of banking institutions, inheritance laws that led to the breaking up of estates and theExpand
Religion and Hierarchies of Dominance
Religious institutions, which played a key role in the creation of inequality, also played a key role in the creation of relations of dominance, which enabled the consolidation and perpetuation ofExpand
Religion and Economic Performance
Followers of prosperity gospel teachings believe that their faith will lead them to prosperity. Whether this is true remains to be proved. However, the existence of a positive correlation betweenExpand
Exchange with Nature and with Gods: License to Exploit
Only one of the exchange partners, the human, determines the rate of exchange with nature, whereas both parties have a say in the determination of the exchange rate between two humans. This is one ofExpand
Religion and Charity
Religion contributes to the definition of the group within which charity is practiced, and punishes the absence of, rewards the presence of, provides the leadership gift for, asks for and reminds theExpand
Religion and Economics
Exchange Among Humans: Networks of Trust
Existence of mutual trust is essential for trade to take place. Trust is generated amongst those who wear the same insignia. As compared with other insignia, wearing of religious insignia is moreExpand
Exchange Among Humans: Divine Supervision
Gods did not interfere with the exchange relations among members of small, stateless hunter-gatherer groups. Cheaters would be warned and punished by the members of the small group within whichExpand