The deification of historical figures and the emergence of priesthoods as a solution to a network coordination problem

  title={The deification of historical figures and the emergence of priesthoods as a solution to a network coordination problem},
  author={T. David-Barrett and James Carney},
  journal={Religion, Brain \& Behavior},
  pages={307 - 317}
ABSTRACT Why do historical figures sometimes become the object of religious worship? Here, we propose that, above a certain group-size threshold, maintaining a belief in the continued existence of authority figures after their death preserves group coordination efficiency. That is, we argue that coordination activities in larger groups become more effective when they center on symbolic (although formerly real) bearers of authority; for smaller groups, we claim the opposite occurs. Our argument… Expand
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