Evolutionary Phenomenon_ ENDOSYMBIOSIS

Is religion merely an evolutionary strategy? It is easy to concede the point made years ago by D.T.Campbellthat religion may have served to facilitate the transition from a human society dominated by biological evolution to one in which tribes were knitted together by holding certain common propositions about reality. Cultural, rather than biological, evolution then became dominant. But the belief that religion is also able to anticipate future possibilities to which cultural evolution has not yet attained, because it represents a process of adaptation to the-way-things-really-are, is a much more contentious one. It will be held inside believing communities, but will be largely opaque to those outside. A significant study which sees religion as an evolved phenomenon is Gerd Theissen’s Biblical Faith: An Evolutionary Approach(1984).This book is important not least for a fine ‘history-of-religions’ account of the rise of Hebrew monotheism, but even within that account one can see the problems associated with Theissen’s attempt to hold to an evolutionary epistemology, to knowledge as a form of adaptation to reality.

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Uploaded by: ( Send Message ) on 16-11-2010.

Duration: 2m 2s