The cultural evolution of prosocial religions

@article{Norenzayan2014TheCE,
  title={The cultural evolution of prosocial religions},
  author={Ara Norenzayan and Azim F. Shariff and Will M. Gervais and Aiyana K. Willard and Rita Anne McNamara and Edward Slingerland and Joseph Henrich},
  journal={Behavioral and Brain Sciences},
  year={2014},
  volume={39}
}
Abstract We develop a cultural evolutionary theory of the origins of prosocial religions and apply it to resolve two puzzles in human psychology and cultural history: (1) the rise of large-scale cooperation among strangers and, simultaneously, (2) the spread of prosocial religions in the last 10–12 millennia. We argue that these two developments were importantly linked and mutually energizing. We explain how a package of culturally evolved religious beliefs and practices characterized by… 
Religion, Evolution, and the Basis of Institutions: The Institutional Cognition Model of Religion
Abstract Few outstanding questions in the human behavioral sciences are timelier or more urgently debated than the evolutionary source of religious behaviors and beliefs. Byproduct theorists locate
Moralizing gods, impartiality and religious parochialism across 15 societies
TLDR
Support is provided for the hypothesis that beliefs in monitoring and punitive gods help expand the circle of sustainable social interaction, and open questions about the treatment of religious outgroups.
The cultural evolution of institutional religions
ABSTRACT In recent work, Atran, Henrich, Norenzayan and colleagues developed an account of religion that reconciles insights from the “by-product” accounts and the adaptive accounts. According to
Revolution and the afterlife: a phylogenetic analysis of religious beliefs
TLDR
Claims that beliefs of an imminent apocalypse co-evolved with and facilitated revolutionary violence, while reincarnation beliefs cause people to acquiesce to existing social orders and withdraw from political activism are tested.
Religion and Related Morality Across Cultures
Is religious morality the same across the major world religions and various cultural contexts? This chapter makes, for the first time, a review, synthesis, and interpretation of the relevant findings
Supernatural agents and prosociality in historical China: micro-modeling the cultural evolution of gods and morality in textual corpora
ABSTRACT A major source of attention paid to high gods in the fields of cultural evolution and cognitive science is the social effects of belief in high gods. Belief in high gods is both hypothesized
Defining religion
This article has three aims. First, it attempts to identify the exact problem religion poses to those developing an account of the evolution of human social life, and of the cognitive capacities that
Religion re-explained
ABSTRACT This article has three aims. First, it attempts to identify the exact problem religion poses to those developing an account of the evolution of human social life, and of the cognitive
Hunter-Gatherers and the Origins of Religion
TLDR
There is a significant positive relationship between most characters investigated, but the trait “high gods” stands apart, suggesting that belief in a single creator deity can emerge in a society regardless of other aspects of its religion.
The evolution of religion and morality: a synthesis of ethnographic and experimental evidence from eight societies
ABSTRACT Understanding the expansion of human sociality and cooperation beyond kith and kin remains an important evolutionary puzzle. There is likely a complex web of processes including
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 597 REFERENCES
Religious Prosociality A Synthesis
Religion is a ubiquitous aspect of human culture, yet until recently, relatively little was known about its natural origins and effects on human minds and societies. This is changing, as scientifi c
The Evolution of Prosocial Religions
TLDR
Five different hypothesized mechanisms are presented through which cultural group selection may have operated to increase the scale of cooperation, expand the sphere of trustworthy interactions, galvanize group solidarity, and sustain group-benefi cial beliefs and practices.
The Evolution of Religion: How Cognitive By-Products, Adaptive Learning Heuristics, Ritual Displays, and Group Competition Generate Deep Commitments to Prosocial Religions
TLDR
Competition among societies and organizations with different faith-based beliefs and practices has increasingly connected religion with both within-group prosociality and between-group enmity, and this connection has strengthened dramatically in recent millennia.
Culture–gene coevolution, norm-psychology and the emergence of human prosociality
The Biological Evolution of Religious Mind and Behavior
From the contents: Introduction.- Evaluating the Evolutionary Status of Religiosity and Religiousness.-Gods, Gains, and Genes.- How Some Major Components of Religion Could Have Evolved by Natural
The Origin and Evolution of Religious Prosociality
TLDR
Converging evidence from various fields for religious prosociality is synthesized, address its specific boundary conditions, and point to unresolved questions and novel predictions.
Subsistence and the Evolution of Religion
TLDR
It is suggested that belief in moral High Gods was fostered by emerging leaders in societies dependent on resources that were difficult to manage and defend without group cooperation and used the concept of a supernatural moral enforcer to manipulate others into cooperating, which resulted in greater productivity.
Signaling, solidarity, and the sacred: The evolution of religious behavior
TLDR
These literatures are reviewed and both the proximate mechanisms and ultimate evolutionary processes essential for developing a comprehensive evolutionary explanation of religion are examined.
The Adaptationist-Byproduct Debate on the Evolution of Religion: Five Misunderstandings of the Adaptationist Program
The primary debate among scholars who study the evolution of religion concerns whether religion is an adaptation or a byproduct. The dominant position in the field is that religious beliefs and
...
1
2
3
4
5
...