Primates and religion: A biological anthropologist's response to J. Wentzel Van huyssteen's alone in the world?

Zygon 43 (2):451-466 (2008)
Abstract
For a biological anthropologist interested in the prehistory of religion, J. Wentzel van Huyssteen's book is welcome and resonant. Van Huyssteen's central thesis is that humans' capacity for spirituality emerges from a transformation of cognition and emotions that takes place in the symbolic realm, within Homo sapiens and apart from biology. To his thesis I bring to bear three areas of response: the abundant cognitive and emotional capacities of living apes and extinct hominids; the role of symbolic ritual in the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens; and the closely intertwined nature of biology and culture in the workings of evolutionary change.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2008.00927.x
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J. Wentzel van Huyssteen (2009). Alone in the World? Human Uniqueness in Science and Theology. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 65 (1):47-52.

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