The Evolution Of God Part 15
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1. 1 Corinthians 13:4.2. This is the emphasis in Romans 12:9, 12:10, 13:8, 13:9, 13:10. The phrase "brotherly love" is in 12:10 of the King James Version. (The NRSV has neutralized the gender.) As for Paul's letters in general: even if we confine ourselves to the seven Pauline letters that most scholars consider authentic, sixty verses contain the word "love" or some variation on it, according to an electronic search I conducted. The number for the four gospels is sixty-five, but most of those verses are not sayings attributed to Jesus.3. Galatians 3:28.4. See Bornkamm (1971), pp. 745.5. Acts 8:3.6. Galatians 1:89.7. Gager (2000), p. 4.8. Dodds (1990), p. 137.9. h.e.l.lerman (2001), p. 4.10. Kloppenborg and Wilson, eds. (1996), p. 13.11. Dodds (1990), p. 137.12. Malherbe (1983), p. 88.13. h.e.l.lerman (2001), p. 22. And see Meeks (2003), p. 86.14. 1 Corinthians 1:12. (This actually wasn't wasn't his first letter to the congregation he had founded in Corinth, but it's the first one that is preserved. See Bornkamm (1971), p. 70, and 1 Corinthians 5:9.) his first letter to the congregation he had founded in Corinth, but it's the first one that is preserved. See Bornkamm (1971), p. 70, and 1 Corinthians 5:9.)15. Bornkamm (1971), p. 73. See also pp. 712 and Fee (1987), p. 573.16. 1 Corinthians 14:3 (and see Fee , pp. 56974, especially p. 573); 14:27, 378.17. 1 Corinthians 4:1416.18. 1 Corinthians 12:27.19. Pagels (2003), p. 6.20. 1 Corinthians 14:23.21. Isaiah 45:14, 223, 25.22. Isaiah 49:6.23. Romans 14:10; 15:18 (and see Sanders , pp. 24); 15:12.24. Romans 11:28. Paul's ideas about the relations.h.i.+p between Jews and Gentiles are complex and sometimes contradictory. This vision of Gentile submission to Israel's messiah is not his only utterance on the subject, and scholars argue about what exactly his views were - if, indeed, he had coherent and stable views. See Gager (2000).25. Galatians 5:6, 12.26. Sanders (1991), p. 62.27. Pagels (2003), p. 6, contrasts early Christianity with the cult of Asclepius, G.o.d of healing, whose priests charged for consultation.28. Gager (2000) makes this point. The view of Paul as fundamentally Jewish has gained scholarly adherents as a result of the pioneering work of Gager and, earlier, Krister Stendahl.29. Meeks (2003), p. 28. And see Mahlerbe (1983), pp. 978.30. Acts 16:14.31. See MacMullen (1984), p. 106, and Meeks (2003), p. 30.32. Freedman, ed. (1992), vol. 4, pp. 4223. And see Acts 16:40.33. See Malherbe (1983), p. 95, esp. footnote 9.34. Meeks (2003), p. 17.35. See Gager (2000), p. 78.36. Acts 18:23. And see Freedman, ed. (1992), vol. 5, pp. 4678.37. See Sanders (1991), p. 13, and Malherbe (1983), p. 95.38. See Meeks (2003), p. 109, and Malherbe (1983), p. 97.39. E. A. Judge, quoted in Meeks (2003), p. 109. And see Meeks (2003), p. 17.40. Romans 16:12.41. McCready (1996), p. 63.42. See Stark (1997).43. Kloppenborg and Wilson, eds. (1996), p. 7.44. Ibid., p. 3.45. Romans 1:711.46. Romans 12:10; Galatians 5:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:910.47. 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Galatians 6:10.48. See Stark (1997), pp. 87, 10.49. Matthew 25:356, 3940.50. Corinthians 5:1113.51. h.e.l.lerman (2001). I've changed "gratuitously," an ambiguous element in the translation, to "for free."52. Romans 12:5.53. Brown (1993), p. 77.54. Luke 6:27, Matthew 5:37.55. Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:1420; Matthew 5:39.56. Galatians 1:1819.57. John 13:34. Here love is confined to fellow believers; see Freedman, ed. (1992), vol. 4, p. 390.58. Galatians 5:145. And see Ehrman (1999), p. 79. Paul says the whole Jewish Law is summed up in this imperative of neighborly love, whereas Jesus says it ranks as one of the two most important imperatives in the Jewish Law, along with loving G.o.d. See Mark 12:2834, Luke 10:258, Matthew 22:3940.59. See Corinthians 4:12 for a reference by Paul to his own experience of persecution.60. Romans 12:20.61. Proverbs 25:21.
Chapter Twelve Survival of the Fittest Christianity Survival of the Fittest Christianity 1. Latourette (1975), p. 85; Ehrman (1999), p. 58.2. See Sanders (1991), p. 21.3. Latourette (1975), pp. 912.4. McLean (1996), p. 191.5. Ibid., p. 196.6. See Ehrman (2003a), p. 100.7. Matthew 1:23. The NRSV, unlike the King James Version, renders Isaiah 7:14 as "young woman."8. See Ehrman (2003a), p. 110.9. Latourette (1975), p. 127. Freedman, ed. (1992), vol. 1, pp. 8556, notes that only in the fourth century are there clear attempts to make lists of authoritative Christian texts; not until the end of that century, in the 390s, do we find church councils endorsing a list of the twenty-seven books now in the New Testament.10. Clabeaux (1992), in Freedman, ed. (1992), vol. 4, p. 517.11. See Ehrman (2003a), pp. 1089.12. Dialogue of Justin with Trypho, Chapter XVI.13. See Pagels (2003), p. 13.14. Ferguson (2003), pp. 3846; Burkett (2002), pp. 86, 543; Ehrman (2004), pp. 1921.15. See Ehrman (2004), pp. 201; Burkett (2002), p. 529.16. Certainly Constantine later showed that he saw the virtue of keeping the Christian church unified. See Burkett (2002), pp. 4078.17. Nikam and McKeon, eds. (1959), p. 52.18. See Pagels (1989).19. "While his [G.o.d's] wisdom meditates on the Logos, and since his teaching expresses it, his knowledge has been revealed." Robert M. Grant translation of the Gospel of Truth: http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/got.html.20. See Ehrman (2003b), p. 47.21. John 1:1, 1:14.22. John 13:34.23. John 13:35.
Chapter Thirteen How Jesus Became Savior How Jesus Became Savior 1. Luke 3:6.2. Psalms 106:21; 2 Kings 13:5; Jeremiah 14:8.3. Turcan (1996), pp. 99103.4. Matthew 13:403.5. 1 Thessalonians 4:13. Re: age of 1 Thessalonians: see Freedman, ed. (1992), vol. 6, p. 516.6. See Daniel 12:23; Isaiah 26:19; Mark 12:1827; Matthew 22:2333; Luke 20:2740. And see Brandon (1967), p. 100.7. On some issues there seems to have been a split between Paul and some Jesus followers in Jerusalem, and the latter may have hewed more closely to Jesus's own views, but (see, e.g., Brandon , p. 99) in general the Jerusalem contingent's tendency would have been to emphasize traditional Jewish apocalypticism more heavily than Paul, and in this case the belief Paul implicitly ascribes to Jesus is wholly consistent with that tradition.8. 1 Thessalonians 4:16.9. Sanders (1991), p. 37, is among the scholars who entertain a back-to-earth scenario.10. 1 Corinthians 15:225.11. 1 Corinthians 15:55.12. Daniel 7:13 envisions "one like a son of man" descending from heaven. Sometimes, as in the NRSV, "son of man" is translated as "human being." The Aramaic term for "son of man" was used to refer to "a man" - and, sometimes, a man who was taken to represent humankind. See Dunn (2003), p. 726.13. Mark 8:31, 38.14. My argument about the "Son of Man" is made at greater length at www.evolutionofG.o.d.net/sonofman.15. Luke 24:69.16. Acts 7:556. Stephen goes on to say, right before dying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."17. Certainly this is, overwhelmingly, the most common view in the Hebrew Bible. Whether there are any clear exceptions to it is controversial: e.g., Psalm 49:15, "But G.o.d will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me." If the "ransom" is taken to occur shortly after death, and G.o.d's "receiving" the soul is taken to mean its ascent to heaven, then this would be an exception. (There are undoubtedly affirmations of eventual resurrection resurrection in the Hebrew Bible, but they tend to be a.s.sociated, as they seem to have been in Jesus's mind, with apocalyptic expectations: e.g., Isaiah 26:19, Daniel 12:23.) And see McDannell and Lang (2001), p. 14. in the Hebrew Bible, but they tend to be a.s.sociated, as they seem to have been in Jesus's mind, with apocalyptic expectations: e.g., Isaiah 26:19, Daniel 12:23.) And see McDannell and Lang (2001), p. 14.
As for Paul's view on the afterlife: See McDannell and Lang (2001), p. 33. Two verses in Paul's letters - Philippians 1:23 and 2 Corinthians 5: 8 - do state or at least suggest that after death a person is "with Christ" or "at home with the Lord." But the more explicit of these, in Philippians, refers only to Paul, and could reflect the belief that he, as the great apostle, would get special dispensation. Moreover, both verses were written later than the pa.s.sage in First Thessalonians cited above, which clearly states Paul's expectation that union with Christ doesn't come until after the return of Christ from heaven. And there are other Pauline verses, e.g., Romans 2:1416, with which they also seem incompatible. They could represent an evolution in his views, owing either to his continued contact with the Gentile "market" for religious beliefs or to a growing sense that he himself would die before the coming of Christ.
18. Luke 23:43. (Paradise needn't refer to heaven, and of course this particular human being may here be singled out for special treatment, rather than representing saved human beings writ large.) 19. Luke 16:245. For the view that he is in heaven, see McDannell and Lang (2001), pp. 269.20. See McDannell and Lang (2001), chapter 1.21. Brandon (1967), p. 109.22. Luke 17:201. (An alternative translation of "within you" is "among you.")23. Even aside from the role of Osiris on Judgment Day, his life story bore a certain resemblance to Jesus's story. As described by Plutarch in the decades after Jesus's death, Osiris had appeared on earth in human form, was brutally killed and then resurrected. This isn't to say, as some have argued, that the whole story of Jesus - Crucifixion and all - is modeled on Osiris. Indeed, if you examine Plutarch's account of Osiris in fuller form, without boiling it down to Christian parallels, there are elements emphatically not reminiscent of the life of Jesus. For example: when Osiris died, his corpse was cut up and buried piecemeal all over Egypt; he regained life only after his body parts were retrieved and rea.s.sembled by his sister/wife Isis - who, incidentally, never succeeded in locating his p.e.n.i.s and so fitted him with a prosthetic device that worked well enough for her to conceive a child by him. See Gabriel (2002) and Brandon (1970).24. Ogilvie (1969), p. 2.25. See Ferguson (2003), pp. 249, 295. Plutarch, who lived in Luke's time, observed that many people "think that some sort of initiations and purifications will help: once purified, they believe, they will go on playing and dancing in Hades in places full of brightness, pure air and light." See h.e.l.lerman (2001), p. 3.26. See Brandon (1967), p. 44, and Scott-Moncrieff (1913), p. 48.27. Bell (1953), pp. 1314.28. Brandon (1967), p. 111.29. The story of the martyrdom of the seven sons in Second Maccabees, a Jewish text written about a century before the birth of Christ, does suggest that the mother antic.i.p.ates that her sons, upon death, will join Abraham in the afterlife as a result of their righteous self-sacrifice. But the way Paul wrestles with the question of the recently deceased in his epistles suggests that, during the early years of the Jesus movement, immediate reward in the afterlife wasn't the standard expectation.30. Hegedus (1998), pp. 163, 167. And see Stark (1997), p. 199. Comparing cities to which the Isis cult and Christianity are known to have spread, Stark finds a .67 correlation.31. Hegedus (1998), p. 163, footnote 8.32. Apuleius, The Golden a.s.s, The Golden a.s.s, chapter 48 (William Adlington translation). chapter 48 (William Adlington translation).33. Romans 3:910.34. Romans 7:149.35. Galatians 5:1921.36. Osirian salvation didn't necessarily require the deceased to be telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. By some readings, Chapter 125 is a bit of a sales pitch - a claim of purity by people less than pure, and perhaps, as well, a ritual of forgiveness, rather like confession for a Catholic, except without the confessing; or maybe more like baptism, which, especially in the early years of Christianity, was considered not just symbolic, but a genuine cleansing, the removal of past sin from the body. (The t.i.tle of Chapter 125 is: "So that he may be separated from every sin which he hath done" [Morenz (1973), p. 132.) Brandon (1970) compares baptism's role in Christian salvation with the role of Osirian ritual in Egyptian salvation, though he emphasizes the earlier Osirian rituals of the pyramid texts, rituals that were more "magical" than moral. In any event, Chapter 125 reflects a religion that has made moral behavior, not just animal sacrifices and other rituals, central to the quest for eternal life.37. Morenz (1973), p. 132, and see p. 122.38. There is, of course, concern with ritual ritual purity in hunter-gatherer societies, as with the story of the Eskimo sea G.o.ddess in chapter 1. purity in hunter-gatherer societies, as with the story of the Eskimo sea G.o.ddess in chapter 1.39. Rig-Veda 7.86. The words "sin" and "crime" don't necessarily denote moral, as opposed to ritual, transgressions. But Varuna did punish moral transgressions. See O'Flaherty (1981), p. 213; Smart (1969), p. 64; and Flood (1996), p. 47.40. Bottero (2001), p. 189.41. Romans 7:7.42. Bellah (1969), p. 68.43. Jacobsen (1976), p. 153.44. Bottero (2001), p. 32. The second-millennium dating is tentative, but there are more confidently dated second-millennium references to Mesopotamian G.o.ds as "father" or "mother."45. Jacobsen (1976), p. 226. Re: parental G.o.d names in Mesopotamia, see Jacobsen (1976), pp. 1589, 2256, 2367.46. Griffiths (1980), p. 216.47. a.s.smann (2001), p. 223.48. Exodus 20:20.49. Some have blamed the empire's collapse on Christianity, but in any event the social system Christian doctrine was devoted to - the international Christian church - stayed intact.
Chapter Fourteen The Koran The Koran.
1. Smith (1991), p. 233.2. More precisely: twenty-three years, according to early Islamic sources and current mainstream reckoning.3. Koran 109:6 (Arberry); 47:4.4. On the merits of different ordering schemes, see Robinson (2003), pp. 7697.5. Koran 96:1. A minority of translators, e.g., Pickthall, render this "Read."6. Koran 53:911 (Pickthall). See Watt (1964), p. 15.7. Welch (2003).8. See Cook (1983), p. 67. For a recent survey of debates surrounding the Koran's historical origin, see Donner (2008).9. Peters (1991), pp. 2889, makes a related point: that the Koran seems not to have been redacted in the "afterglow" of military triumphs after Muhammad's death.10. See Donner (2008), Watt (1964), p. 17, Cook (1983), p. 74.11. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition.12. Some scholars now think traditional accounts overstate Mecca's significance as a trade center - both the magnitude of trade and the extent to which the trade featured exotic items, like spices, as opposed to mundane items, such as leather goods. The seminal work (and in some ways a particularly extreme view) is Patricia Crone (1987), Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, Princeton University Press. Princeton University Press.13. The exact reason for the emphasis on sons is not entirely clear. One possibility would apply only to relatively affluent Arabs, which Muhammad would presumably have been after his marriage: in a polygamous society, sons born to the upper cla.s.ses can attract multiple wives, and so produce more grandchildren than daughters. Another possibility is speculatively suggested by Watt (1964), pp. 1523: sons would inherit the administration of property from their mother's brothers and so would bring wealth and prestige into the immediate family.14. Koran 81:89 (Sale).15. Koran 93:611 (Arberry); 90:16; 90:136 (Arberry); 89:1821 (Arberry).16. Koran 42:20.17. Koran 21:25.18. Lings (1983), pp. 16, 29, 44.19. Ibid., pp. 16, 44; Watt (1964), p. 22.20. Indeed some Arab tribes in modern Syria, Iraq, and Jordan had converted to Christianity. See Hoyland (2001), pp. 14650.21. Lings (1983), p. 17.22. Koran 46:12 (Yusuf Ali). See also Koran 26:1928.23. Koran 43:24. "The archetypal Book" is literally "Mother of the Book," as in the Yusuf Ali translation.24. Koran 77:6; 16:105.25. Armstrong (2002), p. 3.26. According to MacDonald (2003), some Arab philologists have argued that Allah is a loan word from Syriac, as I argue here.27. Among the Koranic verses that state or imply that Arabs consider Allah the creator G.o.d:29:61, 31:25, 39:38, 43:9. That the Koran never complains about a failure to believe in Allah, but rather about "those who join G.o.ds with G.o.d," was pointed out to me by Michael Cook.28. Hodgson (1977), vol. 1, pp. 1556. Armstrong (2002), p. 11, is struck in the same way by the same point.29. The word is sometimes rendered alaha alaha.30. MacDonald (2003).31. This scenario, in which the Arabic G.o.d Allah is from the beginning the Judeo-Christian G.o.d, is necessarily conjectural (as is the more conventional scenario of Allah's independent origins). The most salient evidence against it is a quirk of usage involving "Allah." Namely, when the word Allah Allah is preceded in certain contexts by words ending in vowels, the initial is preceded in certain contexts by words ending in vowels, the initial A A is dropped. (Thus, when is dropped. (Thus, when Allah Allah is preceded by the Arabic word for "he" - is preceded by the Arabic word for "he" - huwa huwa - in the sentence "He is G.o.d," the result is spoken as "huwallahu," not "huwa allahu.") This sort of elision is unusual in an Arabic noun, yet it is standard practice to in comparable circ.u.mstances drop an article - in the sentence "He is G.o.d," the result is spoken as "huwallahu," not "huwa allahu.") This sort of elision is unusual in an Arabic noun, yet it is standard practice to in comparable circ.u.mstances drop an article preceding preceding an Arabic noun. So this quirky convention is consistent with the theory that the "Al" in Allah initially an Arabic noun. So this quirky convention is consistent with the theory that the "Al" in Allah initially was was an article, as in the scenario I'm arguing against - the scenario in which an article, as in the scenario I'm arguing against - the scenario in which Allah Allah began as began as al-ilah, al-ilah, or "the G.o.d." Of course, it's possible this unusual property was somehow acquired by the noun or "the G.o.d." Of course, it's possible this unusual property was somehow acquired by the noun Allah Allah in reflection of the unique status of G.o.d's name in Arabic culture. Still, it tends to work against the theory I'm advancing. in reflection of the unique status of G.o.d's name in Arabic culture. Still, it tends to work against the theory I'm advancing.32. None of this is meant to imply that Syriac is a direct descendant of the Aramaic of Jesus's day. But the two languages do share a common origin in the Aramaic spoken in the early part of the first millennium BCE. The relations.h.i.+p of the Aramaic of Jesus's day to the Syriac of Muhammad's day might be compared to that between an uncle and a nephew.33. Koran 81:14.34. "Ka'ba" in Bearman, et al., eds. (2003).35. Lapidus (2002), p. 14; "Hadjdj" in Bearman, et al., eds. (2003).
Chapter Fifteen Mecca Mecca.
1. Koran 79:26.2. Koran 19:30.3. Koran 82:19. Muhammad's sense of the nearness nearness of the apocalypse seems to have been most intense in pa.s.sages generally dated to the middle Meccan period, e.g., 21:1, 53:57, 54:1. of the apocalypse seems to have been most intense in pa.s.sages generally dated to the middle Meccan period, e.g., 21:1, 53:57, 54:1.4. Koran 15:6, 34:8; 37:367, 21:5; 83:2931; 74:213.5. Koran 41:26.6. Lings (1983), pp. 8892; some, e.g., Watt (1964), p. 77, doubt the severity of the boycott.7. McDannell and Lang (2001), p. 52.8. Irenaeus, Against Heresies Against Heresies, 5:33.9. Koran 56:2931; 55:54; 55:56; 56:367.10. Koran 76:4; 18:29.11. Koran 74:26; 41:28.12. Koran 104:4; 15:3.13. Koran 83:345.14. Koran 77:24; 32:20; 37:21.15. Koran 96:19.16. Koran 43:89; 109:46.17. Koran 50:45; 88:212.18. Koran 73:10. Rodwell places this third. Blachere, another authority, places it thirty-fourth, which would make it about one-third of the way, chronologically, through the Meccan era.19. Koran 13:40; 25:63.20. Koran 41:34.21. Joshua 11:24; Deuteronomy 20:1618.22. Watt (1964), pp. 58, 61.23. Koran 53:23.24. Watt (1964), p. 61.25. Koran 44:32.26. Koran 26:46. Translation by Mairaj Syed (personal communication).27. Koran 26:46 (Sale). Rodwell believes this refers to Jews only, not Christians and Jews. And (see Rodwell translation, footnote 12) Theodor Noldeke dates the verse to Medina and offers a translation that makes the verse less diplomatic. But the verse is more commonly dated to Mecca, and the translation I've provided reflects the common interpretation.28. At least, it never appears in Meccan suras so long as you consider Sura 64, Mutual Deceit, Medinan, as Rodwell does but some scholars don't. See Rodwell's footnote 1 to that sura.29. See such suras as The Poets, Ornaments of Gold, Family of Imran.
Chapter Sixteen Medina Medina.
1. Lings (1983), p. 123.2. This simple version of the story is conveyed by, e.g., Armstrong (2002), pp. 1314. Specialists in Islam - e.g., Watt (1964), pp. 95 6 - have long recognized in the Koran signs that in the early parts of the Medinan period, Muhammad fell far short of complete authority. However, Watt speculatively accepts the idea that Muhammad was from the beginning recognized by other clans as a valid arbitrator.3. Ibid. Some scholars consider this sura late Meccan.4. Koran 3:3132.5. Watt (1964), pp. 956, compares Muhammad to a clan leader. Buhl (2003) compares Muhammad to a tribal leader.6. Koran 64:14.7. Matthew 10:358.8. Syria, Egypt, Palestine: These terms carry their modern geographic meanings; in Muhammad's time, Syria would have encompa.s.sed much or all of Palestine.9. Lapidus (2002), pp. 323; Kennedy (1986), pp. 5972.10. This surmise isn't corroborated by the Islamic oral tradition. But it's hard to come up with an alternative explanation of the number of Medinan verses in the Koran that address Christian issues and, in particular, either seem concerned with finding common ground with Christians or imply a failure to have done so.11. Koran 9:30, Yusuf Ali translation. Muhammad is here referring to the Christian belief that Jesus was the son of G.o.d and a Jewish belief that Ezra was the son of G.o.d. It's unclear where Muhammad got the idea that Jews consider Ezra a son of G.o.d. See Rodwell and Sale footnotes to this verse.12. Compared to other religions, Islam wasn't necessarily stringent in terms of ritual. Muhammad made a point of having more relaxed dietary rules than, e.g., Judaism. But Islam's sanctions against socially disruptive vices - e.g., drinking, gambling, adultery - were severe.13. Schacht (1982), p. 9. The Arabic word for robbery seems to have been imported from another language. But it's possible that this importation predated Muhammad's era, in which case robbery may well have been a crime before the coming of Islam.14. Koran 22:3940 (Arberry). See also Koran 2:217.15. Koran 22:40 (Asad). Some, e.g., Arberry and Rodwell, use "oratories" where Asad uses "synagogues." Among other translators who use "synagogues" are Yusuf Ali and Sale. Asad - see his footnote to this verse - argues that here, in what may be Islam's earliest version of a just-war doctrine, religious freedom is given lofty status.16. Koran 3:3 (Arberry); 3:64 (Asad).17. See Buhl (2003) and Watt (1964), p. 114.18. Koran 2:173 (Yusuf Ali). Of the two other suras prohibiting pork consumption, one (Sura 5) is routinely considered Medinan, and the other (Sura 6) is often cla.s.sified as Meccan, but as very late Meccan - frequently listed, indeed, as the very last Meccan sura. It seems likely that this part of the sura, at least, was actually an early Medinan utterance.19. Berkey (2003), pp. 745. Praying toward Jerusalem would have pleased not just Jews, but some Arabian Christians who were already in that habit. See Buhl (2003).20. Koran 19:35.21. Koran 43:578. My interpretation is guided by footnote 15 in Rodwell's translation. Most translators don't agree with Rodwell that the Koran has Muhammad offering Jesus as "an instance of divine power" - just that he was holding Jesus up as an example of some sort. But some subsequent parts of the sura, including those quoted above, seem best explained by Rodwell's interpretation. Sale, e.g., offers a different interpretation.22. Preface to Rodwell's translation of the Koran. (Koran 5:14 alludes to infighting among Christians over doctrinal issues.)23. It may be relevant that the word for "Christians" in the Koran is a word that actually means "Nazarenes," a term that had sometimes been applied to such "Jewish Christians" as the Ebionites. But there is also reason to believe that the word - which even today is the word used by Arab Muslims to refer to Christians - had a similarly broad reference to Christians in general in Muhammad's day. See Fiey (2003) on this and diversity of Christian belief in general.24. One Koranic verse - 4: 157 - seems to subscribe to the docetic "heresy" that the Crucifixion of Jesus was an illusion.25. See Crone and Cook (1977). The book's provocative thesis, that Muhammad's initial followers included apocalyptic Jews, seems to be no longer advanced by the book's authors, but the fact that it can't be definitively dismissed is a reminder of how little we know for sure about the array of religious belief Muhammad faced.26. Koran 4:171 (Arberry).27. Koran 4:171 (Arberry); 57:27.28. Genesis 16:12.29. Genesis 16:23, 1516, and see Knauf (1992).30. Genesis 17:20.31. Genesis 17:21, 256.32. Koran 2:125 (Arberry).33. Koran 2:135 (Arberry).34. Koran 2:132 (Arberry); 3:67 (Pickthall); 3:67 (Shakir).35. Koran 5:51. At other times Muhammad seems to have sensed a difference in the receptivity of Christians and Jews (5:82): "Thou wilt surely find that, of all people, the most hostile to those who believe [in this divine writ] are the Jews as well as those who are bent on ascribing divinity to aught beside G.o.d; and thou wilt surely find that, of all people, they who say, 'Behold, we are Christians' come closest to feeling affection for those who believe [in this divine writ]." In a sura usually dated to the late Meccan period, Muhammad had seen no grounds for enmity toward either Christians or Jews (29:46): "And do not argue with the followers of earlier revelation otherwise than in a most kindly manner - unless it be such of them as are bent on evildoing and say: 'We believe in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, as well as that which has been bestowed upon you: or our G.o.d and your G.o.d is one and the same, and it is unto Him that We [all] surrender ourselves.'"36. See Donner (1979), p. 232. Moreover, because of their central role in Medinan commerce (see Kennedy , p. 36) - they lived astride the town's marketplace and made their living there - the Kaynuka would have been tempting targets for Muhammad; if you are trying to start a theocratic state, you would like its commercial base to be in the hands of believers, not because of the content of their beliefs per se, but because those beliefs signified allegiance to your political leaders.h.i.+p.37. See Stillman (1979), pp. 1314.38. Koran 22:67. See also 5:489, considered by many the final Medinan sura.39. Koran 33:267 (Arberry). Another verse (59:2) refers to "unbelievers among the people of the Book" being exiled but makes no reference to killing.40. See, e.g., Peters (1994), p. 156.41. Crone and Cook (1977), pp. 67.42. Thomson (1999), p. 102. (The wording is unclear, but Sebeos seems to say that what is now known as the al-Aksa Mosque was actually built by the Jews.) And see Crone and Cook (1977), p. 10.43. Cook (1983), p. 74. As Cook notes, the differences are trivial. Still, they suggest some degree of ongoing fluidity.44. An example of Koranic verses that seem to reflect a "break with the Jews," and show signs of not being pristine, is the account of the "changing of the kiblah" - the decision to quit praying toward Jerusalem and start praying toward Mecca. The verses don't mention Mecca or Jerusalem, but they do refer to a change in the direction of prayer and note that the direction now diverges from the preferred Christian and Jewish direction of prayer - which would seem to indeed indicate a turning away from Jerusalem (2:142 50). Yet half a century ago, the esteemed scholar of Islam Montgomery Watt noted that these verses, though arrayed consecutively, as if uttered by Muhammad all at once, "give the impression of having been revealed at different times" (Watt , p. 113). Also, Crone and Cook (1977) point to evidence, both architectural and literary, suggesting that decades after Muhammad's death Muslims were facing somewhere well to the north of Mecca when they prayed. But Cook (personal communication) is now inclined to suspect that this evidence is essentially "noise."
Chapter Seventeen Jihad Jihad.
1. Milestones, Milestones, chapter 4. chapter 4.2. Watt (1974).3. The four pa.s.sages are 9:24, 22:78, 25:52, and 60:1. In no case is the jihad reference by itself explicitly military (See Bonner , p. 22), but in 9:24 the context seems military. In 25:52 the injunction is to strive, or struggle, against "those who deny the truth," but the context makes a military interpretation unlikely. In 60:1 friends.h.i.+p with unbelievers is discouraged but there is no allusion to violence. In 22:78, the emphasis is on serving as a "witness" to G.o.d's truth; Muslims are urged to "strive hard in G.o.d's cause with all the striving [jihad] that is due to Him," then reminded that they are "those who have surrendered themselves to G.o.d"; the pa.s.sage culminates with the injunction to "be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and hold fast unto G.o.d." That the doctrine of military jihad can't be coherently grounded in the Koran is made by Bonner (2006); see, e.g., p. 20.4. Bonner (2006), p. 22, says that of forty-one Koranic uses of words deriving from the root jhd, jhd, only ten refer "clearly and unambiguously to the conduct of war." Peters (1987), p. 89, may be including less explicit references to war when he says that "about two thirds" of the uses "denote warfare." only ten refer "clearly and unambiguously to the conduct of war." Peters (1987), p. 89, may be including less explicit references to war when he says that "about two thirds" of the uses "denote warfare."5. Other, and less ambiguous, verbs are qaatala, qaatala, which means fighting, and which means fighting, and qatala, qatala, which means killing. The ambiguity of which means killing. The ambiguity of jahada jahada can be seen by comparing these four translations of 66:9. Yusuf Ali: "O Prophet! Strive hard against the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them." Pickthall: "O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them." Shakir: "O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be hard against them." Rodwell: "O Prophet! make war on the infidels and hypocrites, and deal rigorously with them." can be seen by comparing these four translations of 66:9. Yusuf Ali: "O Prophet! Strive hard against the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them." Pickthall: "O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them." Shakir: "O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be hard against them." Rodwell: "O Prophet! make war on the infidels and hypocrites, and deal rigorously with them."6. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1128382/posts.7. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1996.html.8. Though Muhammad sometimes accused Christians, and occasionally Jews, of having polytheistic tendencies, this term is used by the Koran to refer to non-Abrahamics.9. Koran 9:6. The most common interpretation of this verse is, as Sale put it in a footnote to his translation of the Koran, "That is, you shall give him a safe-conduct, that he may return home again securely, in case he shall not think fit to embrace Mohammedism."10. Koran 9:7, 4. Strictly speaking, 9:4 is exempting these polytheists from the permission G.o.d grants in 9:3 to dissolve treaties with polytheists. But keeping the treaties of these exempted polytheists from dissolution would clearly exclude them from the group of polytheists who are to be killed.11. And, for that matter, the verb translated as "kill" could be translated as "fight" or "combat," though there's no doubt that Muhammad went into combat willing to kill. A similar example is 4:8990. Here infidels who leave their people to convert but then turn back are to be slain "wherever ye find them" - with the exception of "those who shall seek an asylum among your allies, and those who come over to you - their hearts forbidding them to make war on you... if they depart from you, and make not war against you and offer you peace, then G.o.d alloweth you no occasion against them."12. Koran 47:4.13. Koran 8:5961.14. Koran 60:89. Another Koranic verse, 2:190, is often cited as an outright ban on warring with infidels who haven't attacked first. And that's certainly what it says as commonly translated - e.g., "And fight for the cause of G.o.d against those who fight against you: but commit not the injustice of attacking them first: G.o.d loveth not such injustice." But some scholars argue that the part that's translated "attacking them first" should be translated as "transgressing," and could just mean, for example, that women and children are not to be killed in the course of the war (Michael Cook, personal communication).15. Koran 60:7.16. See, e.g., Watt (1956), pp. 3625.17. Watt (1974), p. 152; Goldziher (1981), p. 102. See Bonner (2006), p. 92, footnote 11, re: the dating of this doctrine.18. Mairaj Syed, personal communication.19. Even leaving aside the fact that the Koran never makes war against infidels an explicitly universal principle, there is the fact that the verses most commonly characterized as jihadist, when read in context, tend to provide reasons to suspect that the intended meaning isn't universal. Sometimes there is explicit circ.u.mscription in time or place. For example, 9:123, often cited as a jihadist verse, says to "fight the unbelievers who are near to you who are near to you" (Arberry, emphasis added). Sometimes there are hints that the recommended fighting may be in response to specific provocation. Thus, 9:29 - "Fight those who believe not in G.o.d and the Last Day" - follows a verse suggesting that maybe this fighting is to be directed toward infidels who have the nerve to approach the Holy Mosque. Some verses said to be jihadist in spirit are just too vague to warrant clear categorization. Theoft-cited8:39 says to fight unbelievers until "there is no persecution and the religion is G.o.d's entirely"(Arberry). The previous verse says unbelievers should be forgiven if they "desist" but not if they "persist" (Yusuf Ali). Some translators (e.g., Yusuf Ali) think this means that to be forgiven they must desist from unbelief, and other translators (e.g., Pickthall) think it means they must desist from persecuting Muslims. The first interpretation renders the verse much more jihadist in spirit than the second interpretation. Other times the problem isn't vagueness but ambiguity. Thus, 48:16 envisions a day when Muslims will "be called against a folk of mighty prowess, to fight them until they surrender" (Pickthall); and the occasional translator (e.g., Rodwell), playing on the fact that "Islam" means "surrender," translates this as until they "profess Islam." But that's a minority translation, and in any event this refers to a specific, if unspecified, battle, not to a crusade that should encompa.s.s the world. (This pa.s.sage was interpreted by Muhammad's successors as specifically envisioning conquest of the Byzantine and Persian worlds. See Goldziher , p. 28.) Finally, there is the interpretive problem posed by the fact that in the days of theocracy, to fight against the state was to in some sense fight against the G.o.d. Thus, the oft-cited 8:1213 recommends this treatment for infidels: "Strike off their heads then, and strike off from them every finger-tip." Then the Koran adds: "This, because they have opposed G.o.d and his apostle" (Rodwell). Does that mean they've opposed G.o.d by not believing in him - which is also, by definition, to oppose his prophet? Or does it just mean they've opposed Muhammad on the battlefield - which would have been equated with opposing Muhammad's G.o.d? These pa.s.sages (9:29, 8:39, 48:16, 8:1213), along with pa.s.sages I've addressed in the text, are the pa.s.sages that, so far as I can tell, are those most commonly cited by critics of Islam who want to argue that the doctrine of jihad can be found in the Koran. And note that, even if each of these verses, read in context, didn't provide specific reason to doubt that the exhortation to violence against unbelievers was meant universally, there would be no reason to a.s.sume that the verse was was meant universally, rather than as a specific exhortation made at a particular time with reference to a particular enemy. meant universally, rather than as a specific exhortation made at a particular time with reference to a particular enemy.20. Koran 109:46; 2:25.21. Bonner (2006), p. 26.22. Sahih Bukhari Sahih Bukhari, vol. 1, book 2, no. 257, http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/bukhari/002.sbt.html.23. This is the dominant view among scholars. There have been alternative views - such as John Wansbrough's contention that the hadith took shape before the Koran - but they haven't won wide acceptance.24. Karsh (2006), p. 4. Attributed to Muhammad ibn Umar al-Waqidi, who died in the early ninth century.25. Bonner (2006), p. 92.26. Watt (1974).27. Berkey (2003), p. 200.28. Ibid.29. Koran 9:29.30. Watt (1974).31. Goldziher (1981), p. 33; Karabell (2007), p. 31.32. Goldziher (1981), p. 33, footnote 4.33. Cahen (2003).34. Watt (1974).35. Cahen (2003).36. See Peters (1987), pp. 901. E.g., in the Middle East around the turn of the twentieth century, Muhammad Abduh and Muhammad Ras.h.i.+d Rida influentially promulgated doctrines of defensive jihad (though these interpretations left room for fighting colonial rulers for liberation). And, in India, Sayyid Ahmad Khan promulgated an even more limited doctrine of jihad, one that didn't warrant rebellion against British colonial rule since Britain was allowing the practice of Islam in India.37. Bin Laden did cite the presence of infidel armies (i.e., American troops) in Saudi Arabia as a grievance, but here the alleged transgression is being in Saudi Arabia, not just being infidels.
Chapter Eighteen Muhammad Muhammad.
1. Koran 3:134; 8:73.2. Koran 48:29.3. Koran 41:34; 25:63.4. Koran 16:84.5. Revelation 19:15.6. E.g., Koran 2:62: "Verily, they who believe (Muslims), and they who follow the Jewish religion, and the Christians, and the Sabeites - whoever of these believeth in G.o.d and the last day, and doeth that which is right, shall have their reward with their Lord: fear shall not come upon them, neither shall they be grieved." And 5:69: "Verily, they who believe, and the Jews, and the Sabeites, and the Christians - whoever of them believeth in G.o.d and in the last day, and doth what is right, on them shall come no fear, neither shall they be put to grief." The verse most commonly cited by theologically conservative Muslims to prove that only Muslims are eligible for salvation is 3:85: "Whoso desireth any other religion than Islam, that religion shall never be accepted from him, and in the next world he shall be among the lost." Reconciliation of these seemingly contradictory verses may lie in the fact that the word translated as "Islam" meant, literally, "submission" (to G.o.d), and in some Koranic pa.s.sages may be meant as a generic noun, encompa.s.sing all who submit to the one true G.o.d - though, to be sure, the word "religion" in this pa.s.sage seems to reduce the plausibility of that interpretation in this case. Of course, it's also possible that trying to reconcile these verses is just a mistake; they were uttered at different times, under different circ.u.mstances. See also 2:112: "Whosoever submits his will to G.o.d, being a good-doer, his wage is with his Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow."7. Koran 2:113 (Asad); 5:18.8. Koran 22:1617.9. The Muslim tradition does include an anecdote that explains why Muhammad might opine on the salvific status of Zoroastrians, involving a query he receives from a governor whose area of governance includes Zoroastrians. On the other hand, if the Koranic verse in question was inserted after Muhammad's death out of political convenience, inserting the supporting anecdote into the tradition would be a natural accompaniment.10. The Sabeans are offered salvation two other times, both times cl.u.s.tered with Jews, Christians, and Muslims: 2:62 and 5:69. One possibility is that these verses arose after conquest of Iraq, and Zoroastrians were added to the list after conquest of Iran.11. Koran 22:1617. Here is the pa.s.sage (Rodwell), with "Sabeans" subst.i.tuted for Rodwell's "Sabeites": "Thus send we down the Koran with its clear signs (verses): and because G.o.d guideth whom He pleaseth. As to those who believe, and the Jews, and the Sabeans and the Christians, and the Magians, and those who join other G.o.ds with G.o.d, of a truth, G.o.d shall decide between them on the day of resurrection: for G.o.d is witness of all things." In theory, this formulation, with G.o.d deciding "between" these groups, leaves room for G.o.d to exclude whole groups, letting Muslims alone make the cut. But that interpretation seems strained, because in at least two other verses - 2:62 and 5: 69 - Jews, Christians, and Sabeans are explicitly deemed eligible for salvation (and Sabeans aren't mentioned in any other context anywhere in the Koran). And in another verse (2:112) the formulation of G.o.d deciding "between" groups is applied to Christians and Jews in a context that also clearly leaves open the prospect of salvation for them. So all signs point to this verse including Zoroastrians ("Magians") in the salvific fold - or, at least, including them in the population eligible eligible for salvation, with salvation itself depending on the beliefs and behavior of the individual Zoroastrian. In this light it would seem that polytheists - "those who join other G.o.ds with G.o.d" - are also included in the eligible pool. And some - e.g., Yusuf Ali, footnote 2788, p. 854 - have argued as much. Others - see, e.g., the Asad translation - say G.o.d will distinguish between the polytheists, on the one hand, and all the other (more or less) monotheistic peoples mentioned, on the other. for salvation, with salvation itself depending on the beliefs and behavior of the individual Zoroastrian. In this light it would seem that polytheists - "those who join other G.o.ds with G.o.d" - are also included in the eligible pool. And some - e.g., Yusuf Ali, footnote 2788, p. 854 - have argued as much. Others - see, e.g., the Asad translation - say G.o.d will distinguish between the polytheists, on the one hand, and all the other (more or less) monotheistic peoples mentioned, on the other.12. Some early Christian thinkers did believe salvation extended beyond Christians. In the third century CE, Origen of Alexandria embraced the doctrine of universal salvation. And at one point (Romans 26:28) Paul writes as if Jews will be saved regardless of their views on Jesus, owing to their venerable ancestry. Still, as a rule early Christians thought of the circle of salvation as excluding Jews, to say nothing of other non-Christians.13. Koran 49:13 (Asad).14. To be sure, later Islamic tradition attributed miracles to Muhammad, and sometimes this attribution was grounded interpretively in the Koran. Thus the tradition that Muhammad split the moon was linked to this verse: "The hour hath approached and the MOON hath been cleft: But whenever they see a miracle they turn aside and say, This is well-devised magic" (54:1). But the Koran never unambiguously attributes miracles to Muhammad, as the gospels do to Jesus.15. Mark 8:12.16. See Phipps (1996), p. 40, and Smith (1991), p. 227, though neither explicitly notes the contrast with Jesus.17. Koran 20:534; 16:67; 30:21, 22.18. Koran 6:967.19. Mairaj Syed, personal communication.20. Koran 13:1213.21. Koran 13:2; 7:54; 41:37.22. Darwinian philosopher and atheist Daniel Dennett has agreed that this sort of directionality is indeed among the evidence of design in the case of organisms. See www.meaningoflife.tv/video.php?topic=direvol&speaker=dennett and and www.nonzero.org/dennexcerpt.htm.
Chapter Nineteen The Moral Imagination The Moral Imagination 1. See www.evolutionofG.o.d.net/blame.2. Proverbs 25:212.
Chapter Twenty Well, Aren't We Special? Well, Aren't We Special?
1. Weinberg (1979); videotaped exchange between Weinberg and John Polkinghorne on counterbalance.org.2. Silverman (1991), pp. 489; Hornung (1999), p. 102.3. See Hornung (1996), pp. 21315; Teter (2002), p. 189; Silverman (1991), pp. 34, 48; Pinch (2002), pp. 15960.4. Griffiths (1980), p. 177.5. Nikam and McKeon, eds. (1959), pp. 29, 31.6. Ibid., p. 52.7. Rig-Veda I, 169; see Smart (1969), p. 67.8. Exodus 12:12.9. The exact historical relations.h.i.+p among the words elohim, elaha, elohim, elaha, and and allah allah is unclear, and I don't mean to suggest that there's a tidy lineage - that, for example, the Aramaic is unclear, and I don't mean to suggest that there's a tidy lineage - that, for example, the Aramaic elaha elaha and the Arabic and the Arabic allah allah both descended from the Hebrew both descended from the Hebrew elohim elohim. Indeed, as noted in chapter 8, it's more likely that the word elohim elohim entered Herbrew via Aramaic, albeit an earlier version of Aramaic than Jesus would have spoken. (See Rose .) My point is just that, even if the kins.h.i.+p among these words is oblique and/or collateral - maybe more like a relations.h.i.+p between cousins than between parent and offspring - there is some kins.h.i.+p; the phonetic similarities among the three words are almost certainly not a coincidence. See chapter 14 for my argument that entered Herbrew via Aramaic, albeit an earlier version of Aramaic than Jesus would have spoken. (See Rose .) My point is just that, even if the kins.h.i.+p among these words is oblique and/or collateral - maybe more like a relations.h.i.+p between cousins than between parent and offspring - there is some kins.h.i.+p; the phonetic similarities among the three words are almost certainly not a coincidence. See chapter 14 for my argument that allah allah derives from the Christian world for G.o.d in Syriac, a close relative of Aramaic. As noted in that chapter, my argument is unorthodox; more commonly it's a.s.serted that derives from the Christian world for G.o.d in Syriac, a close relative of Aramaic. As noted in that chapter, my argument is unorthodox; more commonly it's a.s.serted that allah allah derives from the Arabic generic noun for G.o.d, derives from the Arabic generic noun for G.o.d, ilah. ilah. But even if this latter account is correct, there is still a likely kins.h.i.+p between But even if this latter account is correct, there is still a likely kins.h.i.+p between allah allah and and elohim, elohim, for for ilah ilah is itself thought to be related to is itself thought to be related to elohim. elohim. In general, when languages are as closely related as Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic - all of which are Semitic - phonetic resemblances often turn out to be a reflection of common descent. In general, when languages are as closely related as Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic - all of which are Semitic - phonetic resemblances often turn out to be a reflection of common descent.
Afterword By the Way, What Is G.o.d? By the Way, What Is G.o.d?
1. Some scientists and philosophers argue that we can strip quantum mechanics of its seeming contradictions, but their attempts to do so often entail scenarios even weirder than the contradictions. For example: it isn't that a particle exists in more than one place, but rather that it exists nowhere at all - nowhere in particular, you might say - until it is measured or observed. Huh? And then there's the famous "many worlds" interpretation, under which there's a version of you reading this book right now and lots of versions of you not reading it. And so on: every attempt to escape from the inconceivable aspects of quantum physics produces either inconceivable conjectures or scarcely credible conjectures. For a cla.s.sic popular introduction to quantum paradoxes, see Heinz Pagels's 1982 book The Cosmic Code. The Cosmic Code. Though I'm not sure whether he coined the term "quantum weirdness," he seems to have been the first to expound on it at length under that label. Though I'm not sure whether he coined the term "quantum weirdness," he seems to have been the first to expound on it at length under that label.2. The comparison between belief in G.o.d and belief in electrons is drawn, and put to somewhat different use, in J. J. C. Smart's essay "The Existence of G.o.d." See Timothy A. Robinson, ed. (2003), G.o.d G.o.d, Hackett Publis.h.i.+ng.3. This "pragmatic" argument for the legitimacy of the concept of G.o.d is much in the spirit of arguments made by William James, notably in his essay "The Will to Believe."4. For related scenarios, see Gardner (2003), and citations therein of Lee Smolin's work.
Appendix How Human Nature Gave Birth to Religion How Human Nature Gave Birth to Religion 1. National Post, National Post, April 14, 2003. April 14, 2003.2. Most evolutionary psychologists who consider religion a direct product of natural selection (an "adaptation," in the terminology developed later in this appendix, as opposed to a "spandrel") subscribe to a "group-selectionist" explanation. Group-selectionist logic is ill.u.s.trated by a scientist quoted in the aforementioned Canadian newspaper article: "Survival of our species has demanded a capacity to work together, to form societies. A willingness to live, and if necessary die, for a belief is a powerful selective advantage. I think there is a genetic propensity for us to believe." As this quote suggests, in group-selection scenarios, "G.o.d genes" needn't earn their keep by directly helping the particular individual possessing them. Indeed, in this case the possessor would "if necessary die" out of religious belief; but such sacrifices would help the larger group, and so genes in this group would on balance do better than genes in alternative groups lacking religion.
The plausibility of "group-selectionist" explanations is controversial. Pretty much all Darwinians agree that group selection is possible under some circ.u.mstances. But many evolutionary psychologists ("individual selectionists") believe that, in human evolution, these circ.u.mstances rarely applied; so natural selection rarely favored traits that cause individuals to make big sacrifices for the "good of the group" in the sense of the larger society, beyond the family. (These individual selectionists generally refer to a genetic predisposition to sacrifice for family members as resulting from "kin selection," and distinguish kin selection from group selection, whereas group selection advocates often label this same dynamic a form of group selection. Terminological squabbles aside, no evolutionary psychologists dispute that sacrifices for kin have been favored by natural selection.) The scientist quoted in the Canadian newspaper article is an atypical group selectionist, because most group selectionists don't believe natural selection often works for the "survival of the species."
Perhaps the best-known account of religion by a group selectionist is David Sloan Wilson's book Darwin's Cathedral. Darwin's Cathedral. The book doesn't lay out a rigorous or detailed account of how religious impulses would evolve by group selection, but Wilson is certainly a group selectionist, and the aspects of religion he emphasizes are the aspects group selectionists tend to emphasize - aspects that facilitate the efficient functioning of large social groups. What Wilson doesn't make clear is why those group-level adaptations couldn't be explained via cultural evolution (and in some cases, no doubt, he would acknowledge that cultural evolution played a role). The book doesn't lay out a rigorous or detailed account of how religious impulses would evolve by group selection, but Wilson is certainly a group selectionist, and the aspects of religion he emphasizes are the aspects group selectionists tend to emphasize - aspects that facilitate the efficient functioning of large social groups. What Wilson doesn't make clear is why those group-level adaptations couldn't be explained via cultural evolution (and in some cases, no doubt, he would acknowledge that cultural evolution played a role).
3. See, e.g., Barrett (2000), p. 29.4. James (1982), p. 27.5. Radcliffe-Brown (1922), p. 139.6. See Boyer (2001), chapter 2, for a more precise rendering of the kind kind of strangeness that, according to his data, makes a religious concept attractive to the human mind. of strangeness that, according to his data, makes a religious concept attractive to the human mind.7. Murdock (1934), p. 256.8. de Waal (1982), p. 98.9. Quoted in Swanson (1964), p. 13.10. Robert Carneiro (personal communication).11. Creel (1970), pp. 496, 5013.12. See Guthrie (1993), chapter 7.13. Boyer (2001), p. 144.14. Ibid., p. 80.15. Barrett and Keil (1996).16. Genesis 1:27, RSV.17. SeeEvans-Pritchard(1965), p. 49.18. On the naturalness of religious sacrifice, see Boyer (2001), pp. 2412.19. Murdock (1934), p. 184.20. Boyer (2001), p. 200.21. If my emphasis on reciprocal altruism and social exchange sounds like the result of evolutionary psychologists imposing their Darwinian angle on the study of religion, it's worth noting that they aren't the only ones who see the centrality of social exchange to religious thought. See Stark and Finke (2000). These authors have spent decades studying religion in many guises. And, though they evince no awareness of the theory of reciprocal altruism, they see exchange as being the basic fulcrum of interaction between people and G.o.ds. See, e.g., p. 91. For an extended defense of the idea that G.o.ds are fundamentally anthropomorphic, see Guthrie (1980) and Guthrie (1993) - though Guthrie's argument, like that of Stark and Finke, is not informed by evolutionary psychology.22. Chapter 17.23. See Boyer (2001), pp. 145, 195, 301, and Barrett (2000), p. 31.24. See Roediger (1996), p. 86.25. "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren," Fox News Channel, June 17, 2004.26. See Boyer (2001), p. 301.27. Ibid., p. 300.28. Tylor (1871), pp. 3856.29. See Boyer (2001), pp. 11920.30. Ibid.31. See Guthrie (1980).
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The Evolution Of God Part 15
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