Religion Evolving - Cultural, Cognitive, and Ecological Dynamics - Benjamin Grant Purzycki

Religion Evolving - Cultural, Cognitive, and Ecological Dynamics - Benjamin Grant Purzycki

What do Gods Want?

Religion Evolving - Cultural, Cognitive, and Ecological Dynamics - Benjamin Grant Purzycki

Benjamin Grant Purzycki [+-]
Aarhus University
View Website
Benjamin Grant Purzycki is Associate Professor in the Department of the Study of Religion at Aarhus University.
Richard Sosis [+-]
University of Connecticut
View Website
Richard Sosis is the James Barnett Professor of Humanistic Anthropology at the University of Connecticut.

Description

Chapter 4 examines variation in the contents of supernatural minds across cultures and the social correlates of this variation. We first provide a sketch of how humans are capable of representing supernatural minds and emphasize the significance of the types of knowledge attributed to supernatural agents. We then argue that the contents of supernatural minds as represented cross-culturally will primarily rest on or between two poles: knowledge of people’s moral behavior and knowledge of people’s ritualized costly behavior. Communities that endorse omniscient supernatural agents that are highly concerned with moral behavior will emphasize the importance of shared beliefs (cultural consensus), whereas communities whose supernatural agents possess limited social knowledge and are concerned with ritual actions will emphasize shared behavioral patterns (social consensus). We conclude with a brief discussion about the contexts in which these patterns occur.

Notify A Colleague

Citation

Purzycki, Benjamin; Sosis, Richard. What do Gods Want?. Religion Evolving - Cultural, Cognitive, and Ecological Dynamics. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 65-81 Mar 2022. ISBN 9781800500525. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=42785. Date accessed: 07 Feb 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42785. Mar 2022

Dublin Core Metadata