Religion Explained by Pascal Boyer

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Many of our questions about religion, says renowned anthropologist Pascal Boyer, are no longer mysteries. We are beginning to know how to answer questions such as "Why do people have religion?" Using findings from anthropology, cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary biology, Religion Explained shows how this aspect of human consciousness is increasingly admissible to coherent, naturalistic explanation. This brilliant and controversial book gives readers the first scientific explanation for what religious feeling is really about, what it consists of, and where it comes from.

About Pascal Boyer

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Pascal Boyeris Luce Professor of Collective and Individual Memory at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Published March 21, 2007 by Basic Books. 386 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction

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that is, all humans possess “the mind it takes to have religion,” a mind that uses processes such as “decoupling” and “inference systems” to arrive at what Boyer considers to be eminently practical reasoning about the meaning of life (reasoning that can sometimes involve inventing cosmic explanat...

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Publishers Weekly

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Cognitive anthropologist Boyer does not shrink from the task of explaining "the full history of all religion (ever)" in this engaging but somewhat oversold synopsis of anthropological findings, purporting to show how "the intractable mystery that was religion is now just another set of difficult ...

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London Review of Books

But his central agenda is the particular set of unobservable causal agencies cited in his subtitle, and his primary concern is with the question of how we are to account for beliefs that involve the attribution of conscious agency to beings other than humans and animals of the normal and familiar...

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he exclaimed when asked) and an evolutionist whose book In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion was one of the first, along with Darwin's Cathedral, by Wilson, and Religion Explained, by Pascal Boyer, to chart a course for the field (the first two books were published in 2002 and...

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