Religion in Human Evolution From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age Religion in Human Evolution is a work of extraordinary ambition a wide ranging nuanced probing of our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have most often imagined were wo

  • Title: Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age
  • Author: Robert N. Bellah
  • ISBN: 9780674061439
  • Page: 399
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Religion in Human Evolution is a work of extraordinary ambition a wide ranging, nuanced probing of our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have most often imagined were worth living It offers what is frequently seen as a forbidden theory of the origin of religion that goes deep into evolution, especially but not exclusively cultural evolutionReligion in Human Evolution is a work of extraordinary ambition a wide ranging, nuanced probing of our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have most often imagined were worth living It offers what is frequently seen as a forbidden theory of the origin of religion that goes deep into evolution, especially but not exclusively cultural evolution.How did our early ancestors transcend the quotidian demands of everyday existence to embrace an alternative reality that called into question the very meaning of their daily struggle Robert Bellah, one of the leading sociologists of our time, identifies a range of cultural capacities, such as communal dancing, storytelling, and theorizing, whose emergence made this religious development possible Deploying the latest findings in biology, cognitive science, and evolutionary psychology, he traces the expansion of these cultural capacities from the Paleolithic to the Axial Age roughly, the first millennium BCE , when individuals and groups in the Old World challenged the norms and beliefs of class societies ruled by kings and aristocracies These religious prophets and renouncers never succeeded in founding their alternative utopias, but they left a heritage of criticism that would not be quenched.Bellah s treatment of the four great civilizations of the Axial Age in ancient Israel, Greece, China, and India shows all existing religions, both prophetic and mystic, to be rooted in the evolutionary story he tells Religion in Human Evolution answers the call for a critical history of religion grounded in the full range of human constraints and possibilities.

    • Best Read [Robert N. Bellah] Ë Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age || [Science Fiction Book] PDF Ê
      399 Robert N. Bellah
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    About “Robert N. Bellah

    1. Robert N. Bellah says:

      Robert N Bellah was Elliott Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley.Bellah graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College with a B.A in social anthropology in 1950 His undergraduate honors thesis on Apache Kinship Systems won the Phi Beta Kappa Prize and was published by the Harvard University Press In 1955, he received a Ph.D from Harvard University in Sociology and Far Eastern Languages and published his doctoral dissertation, Tokugawa Religion, in 1957 After two years of postdoctoral work in Islamic Studies at McGill University in Montreal, he began teaching at Harvard in 1957 and left 10 years later as Professor of Sociology to move to the University of California, Berkeley From 1967 to 1997, he served as Ford Professor of Sociology.Other works include Beyond Belief, Emile Durkheim on Morality and Society, The Broken Covenant, The New Religious Consciousness, Varieties of Civil Religion, Uncivil Religion, Imagining Japan and, most recently, The Robert Bellah Reader The latter reflects his work as a whole and the overall direction of his life in scholarship to understand the meaning of modernity Continuing concerns already developed in part in Civil Religion in America and The Broken Covenant, led to a book Bellah co authored with Richard Madsen, William Sullivan, Ann Swidler and Steven Tipton Habits of the Heart Individualism and Commitment in American Life published by the University of California Press in 1985 The same group wrote The Good Society, an institutional analysis of American society, published by Alfred A Knopf in 1991.On December 20, 2000, Bellah received the United States National Humanities Medal The citation, which President William Jefferson Clinton signed, reads The President of the United States of America awards this National Humanities Medal to Robert N Bellah for his efforts to illuminate the importance of community in American society A distinguished sociologist and educator, he has raised our awareness of the values that are at the core of our democratic institutions and of the dangers of individualism unchecked by social responsibility.In July 2008, Bellah and Professor Hans Joas, who holds appointments in both the University of Chicago and Freiburg University in Germany, organized a conference at the Max Weber Center of the University of Erfurt on The Axial Age and Its Consequences for Subsequent History and the Present, attended by a distinguished group of international scholars interested in comparative history and sociology At the conclusion of the conference, the University of Erfurt awarded Bellah an honorary degree Harvard University Press published the proceedings of this conference as The Axial Age and Its Consequences in 2012.In September of 2011 the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press published Religion in Human Evolution From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age, the result of Bellah s lifetime interest in the evolution of religion and thirteen years of work on this volume.Preview a book about Robert Bellah by University of Padua, Italy, Sociology Professor Matteo Bortolini.News and Articles Commenting on Robert Bellah s PassingComments on the Passing of Robert N Bellah by Jeffrey C AlexanderAmerican Journal of Cultural Sociology, July 31, 2013Robert Bellah, Sociologist of Religion, Dies at 86Tricycle, July 31, 2013In Memoriam Robert N BellahPacific Church News The Episcopal Diocese of California , July 31, 2013Robert Bellah, 1927 2013Harvard University Press Blog, July 31, 2013The Passing of Robert BellahAssociation for the Sociology of Religion, July 31, 2013Robert Bellah, preeminent American sociologist of religion, dies at 86 by Yasmin Anwar,UC Berkeley News Center, August 1, 2013Remembering Robert Bellah by Jeff GuhinJeff Guhin s blog , Thursday, August 1, 2013Robert Bellah Departs by Mark Silk,Religion News Service, August

    2 thoughts on “Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age

    1. A comprehensive historical analysis of human religion and thought, starting with the animal play and ending with the axial age breakthroughs. The major evolutionary theme being the development from the mimetic to mythic and narrative to the theoretic stage of the axial age. The ability to construct narratives that ultimately led to the development of “theoretic culture”.More of a descriptive work rather than an analytic one, he considers the religious development from tribal to archaic to ax [...]

    2. This is strong piece of work. Bellah has assembled an imposing cathedral drawing brick by brick from cosmology, paleontology, archeology, biology, neurology, anthropology, mythology, philosophy, theology, politics, and literature to address the role of religion in human history. I found it very challenging to read and remain engaged with - it took me five months to complete its 606 pages - but I think it will sink in and become part of my thinking on the issues examined.

    3. A history of human civilization, and religion's place in it. Small hunter-gatherer tribes have powerful beings that people identify with, whose aspects people take on during rituals. Only when human society evolves kings does religion evolve gods that are worshiped. Bellah is a sociologist. He sees religion's use to legitimate, and to criticize, authority.Bellah does not see religion's power to build spiritual strength in the faithful. This is a little odd, in someone who's spent his life studyi [...]

    4. Leave it to an academic to take a topic everyone finds engaging and to bore you to death with it. Basically, let me help you. There have been 3 basic religious trends - when we were hunter gatherers we embraced shamanism. When we were agriculturalists, we embraced magic (read The Golden Bough - an amazing book that puts Bellah to shame) and when cities developed a new type of 'religion' - what we call religion - developed. There is no one definition that can incorporate all these trends, but Bel [...]

    5. This book takes much effort to read but the reader is rewarded, at least in my case, with a much improved understanding of how religion and society have changed together through the part of history covered in the text.I was particularly impressed with how an ethical view of the world developed quite differently in different parts of the world but certainly bears a very common thread. Another thread I found very informative was how different cultures justify behaviors which are outside their mora [...]

    6. Thirteen years in the making, and finished two years prior to his death, Professor Bellah's 600-page tome is, I think, a contemplation on the tension between the universalistic and the particularistic; the egalitarian and the hierarchical; the mythic and the mimetic; the empirical and the theoretical. The main backdrops are Greece, Israel, China, and India during the second half of the first millennium BCE, the so-called Axial Age. He discusses religious and ideological evolution in their sociop [...]

    7. Robert Bellah has a strong reach in contemporary sociology and social sciences. Among other things, his cultural analysis of American society is renown for having both sustained and strengthen Tocqueville's warning against democraties' proneness to soft tyranny (an all-encompassing control that settles together with the fall of civic commitment and the withdrawal in privacy).Religion in Human Evolutionis his lastœuvre . It is a truly ambitious, remarkable piece of work spawning 13 years of effo [...]

    8. The nature and significance of religion never ceases to fascinate. I became interested in reading Robert Bellah's "Religion in Human Evolution" (2011) as a result of a brief discussion on the book in philosopher Charles Taylor's recent work, "The Linguistic Animal" (2016), a study which shares much with Bellah's. Taylor praises Bellah's work for stressing the importance of play in understanding human development and in understanding religion. Taylor writes that play, in Bellah's study, is biolog [...]

    9. Judul Buku :Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial AgePengarang : Robert N,BellahTebal : 744 hal.Cara pandang Robert N. Bellah dalam melihat agama dimulai dari halyang paling sederhana yaitu teori tentang agama sipil. Dua kataagama dan sipil bersanding menyiratkan sebuah arti bahwa hubunganantara agama dan masyarakat sama-sama memiliki nilai yang bertaut satudengan yang lain. Agama , bagi Robert N.Bellah tidak memerlukan suatuketerlibatan dunia supernatural sama sekali. M [...]

    10. I admit upfront that I have not read this book cover to cover but spot-read along the way, and for that reason I am not assigning a rating.Bellah is a name known and admired in the social sciences, but this massive work did not move me, and for this reason. People interested in "religion" can be said to fall in two major groups: those for whom religion is a social phenomenon, and those for whom religion plays an important part in their life. Of course overlap can and does occur.But this book is [...]

    11. The grand sweep of the book is breathtaking. Unfortunately, Bellah fell into the trap of authors who have enjoyed their research too much -- it was largely descriptive and did not live up to its analytical promise.If you're looking for a one book review of the literature on the religious impulse in biological evolution, the modern academic understanding of the development of Judaism through to the later prophets, a history of Greek social and political development and how it led to Plato and Ari [...]

    12. Half way through this massive book. Charles Taylor mentions it near the end of his work entitled A Secular Age. I'm looking for something very deep about the nature of religion, religious experience, and its truth - if there is any truth in it. So far, it seems that Robert Bellah thinks evolutionary theory will provide an insight. I find that less interesting and unlikely. Mostly I am reading the book for his handling of the "axial age," that period that started around 500 BCE when all the great [...]

    13. This book was long and dense so it took me forever just to get through it, let alone to really appreciate what he was saying. I appreciated the attention to each of the 4 civilizations and their approach to religion. It was cool to see how much overlapped between them all and how each civilization tells the same general stories over and over again. I really loved the conclusion, particularly his discussion on agricultural mass extinction and religious plurality. I felt it tied the contents in ni [...]

    14. Review - Richard Madsen at The Immanent Frame: bit/s5vf25 "Bellah’s new masterpiece, Religion in Human Evolution is comparable in scope, breadth of scholarship, and depth of erudition to [Max] Weber’s study of world religions, but it is grounded in all of the advances of historical, linguistic, and archeological scholarship that have taken place since Weber, as well as theoretical advances in evolutionary biology and cognitive science."

    15. A towering scholar! Very good in giving a sweeping and authoritative account of the "Archaic Age" in which gods appeared with special relationships with kings, transforming into the "Axial Age" represented by the Greek philosophers, the Hebrew prophets, Buddhist India, and Confucian China. I thought his evolutionary take quite lame and almost an afterthought.

    16. A book to be read when you're not in a hurry. Bellah draws and investigates from all kinds of angles, leaving the reader sometimes wondering what sort of book was he trying to write? Well, a large, generous and penetrating work that shys from simple analysis of pre- and axial ages where economics, religion and politics became dominant factors in human wellbeing and culture.

    17. This scholarly tome takes the human saga from earliest times. It attempts to outline in a detailed way the development of religious thinking. It is especially good in the Axial age. However in order to be inclusive, Bellah has become pedantic, burdensome, and at times boring. A good reference if you don't want to read every word.

    18. A very challenging read, and while I do not think I agree with everything, even those parts I think I disagreed with (I did mention it was challenging, didn't I) still caused me to think about things in a slightly different way.

    19. Excellent work, as might be expected from Bellah. Wish it had less of the academic "review of all other books on the subject" and more his own argument. The work on "play" is key, and its clear that he came to that too late. Needs to be rewritten (sigh) with play front and center.

    20. Sprawling and scholarly, in the Durkheimian/Weberian tradition. The first 3 chapters are all set-up, and probably could be interwoven with the substantive traditions. Most of the humor can be found in his endnotes but you sure learn a lot about ancient religions :)

    21. Great, informative book, yet it was extremely deep, and is not for the amateur reader. Very heady, written in a "professor voice," so if someone is not well-educated, it's not for you. Otherwise, very informative and well-written.

    22. I was so excited to start this book. My two favorite topics (evolution and religion) in one book. Alas, after a few chapters, I quit (I think this is only the second time I have ever not finished a a book). It was work, too much work, to read. I likened it to chewing a mouth full of marbles.

    23. Very interesting read. Especially when the author gets to the Axial Age of religion. Lots of food for thought.

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