Bellah: Religion in Human Evolution : From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age. Pb

  • Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age.
  • Robert N. Bellah.
  • Paperback, 784 pages, 235 x 162 mm. 2017
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.