Theology after the Birth of God
Atheist Conceptions in Cognition and Culture
|Publication Date||August 2014|
|Formats||Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF)|
The gods are born - and we have borne them! This proclamation, derived from insights in the biocultural study of religion, may engender even more atheism than Nietzsche's message about the "death of God." Engaging recent empirical findings and theoretical developments within a wide variety of evolutionary and social sciences, F. LeRon Shults unveils the cognitive and coalitional mechanisms by which god-conceptions are bred in human minds and nurtured in human cultures. Shared imaginative engagement with punitive supernatural agents emerges "naturally" as a result of inherited tendencies that lead to the over-detection of agents and the over-protection of in-groups. The integration of these tendencies helped our early ancestors survive by fostering cooperation and commitment in small-scale coalitions. However, these "religious" traits also generate faulty interpretations of nature and violent inscriptions of society. Arguing for the importance of having "the talk" about religious reproduction, especially in complex, pluralistic environments increasingly shaped by naturalism and secularism, Shults proposes the liberation of a radically atheist trajectory that has for too long been suppressed within the discipline of theology.