In the Name of God: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence / Edition 1 by John Teehan | 9781405183826 | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
In the Name of God: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence / Edition 1

In the Name of God: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence / Edition 1

by John Teehan
     
 

ISBN-10: 1405183829

ISBN-13: 9781405183826

Pub. Date: 05/03/2010

Publisher: Wiley

Religion is one of the most powerful forces running through human history, and although often presented as a force for good, its impact is frequently violent and divisive. This provocative work brings together cutting-edge research from both evolutionary and cognitive psychology to help readers understand the psychological structure of religious morality and the

Overview

Religion is one of the most powerful forces running through human history, and although often presented as a force for good, its impact is frequently violent and divisive. This provocative work brings together cutting-edge research from both evolutionary and cognitive psychology to help readers understand the psychological structure of religious morality and the origins of religious violence. These insights are applied to both Judaism and Christianity, and their texts, to illustrate how our evolved mind shapes religious beliefs and influences human events.

Contrary to the popular belief that religious violence is a corruption of true religion, carried out by individuals who twist its teachings, Teehan argues that religious violence is in fact grounded in the moral psychology of religion. This controversial argument is illustrated with reference to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the response to the attacks from both the terrorists and the President.

In the Name of God represents a fundamentally new approach to the analysis of religion. By applying evolutionary psychology, we can gain a fresh perspective on religious texts, and a better understanding of their contradictions and complexities, essential to combating religious violence and promoting a more moral society.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781405183826
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
05/03/2010
Series:
Blackwell Public Philosophy Series, #19
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.

Introduction: Evolution and Mind.

1. The Evolution of Morality.

Setting the Task.

The Moral Brain.

The First Layer: Kin Selection.

The Second Layer: Reciprocal Altruism.

A Third Layer: Indirect Reciprocity.

A Fourth Layer: Cultural Group Selection.

A Fifth Layer: The Moral Emotions.

Conclusion: From Moral Grammar to Moral Systems.

2. The Evolution of Moral Religions.

Setting the Task.

The Evolution of the Religious Mind.

Conceptualizing the Almighty.

The Moral Function of Gods.

3. Evolutionary Religious Ethics: Judaism.

Setting the Task.

Constructing Yahweh.

The Ten Commandments: An Evolutionary Interpretation.

Conclusion: The Evolved Law.

4. Evolutionary Religious Ethics: Christianity.

Setting the Task.

Constructing the Christ.

Setting the Boundaries: Christian and/or Jew?.

The Third Race: Christians as In-Group.

Putting on Christ: Christianity’s Signals of Commitment.

Loving Your Neighbor and Turning the Other Cheek.

5. Religion, Violence, and the Evolved Mind.

Setting the Task.

Devoted to Destruction: Sanctified Violence and Judaism.

The Blood of the Lamb.

A Case Study in the Evolved Psychology of Religious Violence: 9/11.

6. Religion Evolving.

Setting the Task.

Varieties of Religious Expressions.

If There Were No God ….

Religion, Ethics, and Violence: An Assessment.

Responding to Religion, Ethics, and Violence: Some Proposals.

Conclusions.

Notes.

Bibliography.

Index.

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