In Gods We Trust has ratings and 23 reviews. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human. Recommended by Caspar Henderson: “In Gods We Trust is not easy Scott Atran – an anthropologist who has studied cultures as different as. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Atran, Scott, In gods we trust: the evolutionary landscape of religion / Scott Atran. p. cm. — (Evolution .

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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Atran reviews all standard approaches to religion psychological, sociological, evolutionary,memetical and showcases the critical neglect of the role of the brain’s cognitive apparatus in these explanations ‘mindblindness’.

Oxford Scholarship Online This book is available as part of Oxford Scholarship Online – view abstracts and keywords at book and chapter level. It follows that displays of credible commitment are as significant as the behavioural commitments they are meant to signify. That is only made more frustrating by the fact that sometimes the writing is excellent.

His own basic concepts are clear, with summations at the end of each bchapter which tends to raise the readers head back out of the detail to see where the book is headed.

Displays are also more frequent than actual commitments, because they are usually less costly. Though he provides a fairly good definition of religion right at the beginning, throughout the rest of the book it is quite unclear where his case studies involve religion and where they involve non-religious culture.

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In Gods We Trust

Want to Read saving…. After all, his de does not stick to its topic, so my review will depart from the content of his book. I’m still interested in the ideas, so I’d love a Cliffnotes version or something. My main worry is also the main lesson I drew from here: His work to dismantle certain ideas of others is a useful endevour.


Aatran face pretends to be humanist and universalist and is intended for show mainly to non-Jews. The Fragility of Goodness. My low rating is due to the verbiage one needs to wade through to get to those worthwhile ideas. In Gods We Trust: Inference versus Imitation in Cultural Creation Not sure how much this is a legit critique and how much an ad hominen; I’ve not read MacDonald. Books by Scott Atran. UKUSWorldwide. Most religions involve costly displays of devotion, which demonstrate commitment to the group.

It not only challenges knowledge revealed by Authority, but also the subjective opinion of the individual. Print Save Cite Email Share. That said, Atran has produced what is likely the most comprehensive and convincing account of the cognitive science of religion, but anyone with an interest in religion, cognitive science, psychology, goods, or applications of evolutionary theory to human behavior should find this to be a fascinating work. The other is deeply racist and isolationist and is designed to maintain moral integrity among Jews alone.

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In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion – Scott Atran – Google Books

The book includes a clever argument positing group selection as a notational variant of kin selection. Jul 29, Jason Yang rated it liked it. A History of Personality Psychology. The Protestant revolution was about replacing the authority of the church hierarchy with the book itself, made available by the printing press. He exhaustively explains the interplay of the various elements on the cognitive, social, and cultural levels.

But it also introduces an objective authority the book itself about the nature of that divinity. One idea that intrigues me is Atran’s suggestion that religious statements are “quasi-propositional”, by which he means that they share the syntax of ordinary propositions but, since they counter-intuitively violate the expectations of the core modules that make up our brains, we can never resolve them to propositions that have actual meaning.

View the discussion thread. He also draws on his own first-hand field work and work in folk biology. I’ll start with a warning: None of this is to imply that religion is a form of PTSD, any more than people like Dostoyevsky having spiritual experiences right before temporal lobe epilepsy seizures, and with similar areas of the brain affected, implies religion is a form of epilepsy.


Religious Narrative, Cognition and Culture. We do not make religious statements to relate facts about the world, we make them because they activate the components of our brain in emotionally satisfying ways.

In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion

Remember that experimentally controlled and induced hypoxia can also induce an Tfust. Atran offers an innovative and interesting look at religious thought. See if you have enough points for this item. Atran covers lots of territory and imparts lots of information.

They are always held metarepresentationally: This book isn’t tfust the institution of religion, or any particular religions, but what is common to all religions, past, present, and future.

Race, Culture and Psychotherapy. Recommended by Caspar Henderson: Yet there are odd things like for instance the study which I’m sure would have benefitted greatly from the addition of “a r Once or twice Atran says that he is going to tell us how religion originated, but I cannot fathom what he thinks he has told us. To purchase, visit your preferred ebook provider.

Religion abhors the competition for truth. Religious believers, however, assume that the utterances or texts connected with religious doctrines are authorless, timeless, and true.

He could have written a great book. Not really, but there was enough interesting information to not feel guilty about the time I spent reading it. There are some places where the writing meanders or goes off on tangents, though Atran often has something interesting to say on a wide range of subjects. On the whole, an extensively-researched and even-tempered book, with nuanced, conscientiously-defined, mostly-acceptable and reasonable claims.