Religion, Brain and Behavior 5 (4):266-274 (2015)

Andrew James Latham
Aarhus University
In Big Gods, Norenzayan (2013) presents the most comprehensive treatment yet of the Big Gods question. The book is a commendable attempt to synthesize the rapidly growing body of survey and experimental research on prosocial effects of religious primes together with cross-cultural data on the distribution of Big Gods. There are, however, a number of problems with the current cross-cultural evidence that weaken support for a causal link between big societies and certain types of Big Gods. Here we attempt to clarify these problems and, in so doing, correct any potential misinterpretation of the cross-cultural findings, provide new insight into the processes generating the patterns observed, and flag directions for future research.
Keywords Big Gods  Cultural evolution  Large-scale cooperation  Cross-cultural data
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From Proto-Forgiveness to Minimal Forgiveness.Andrew J. Latham & Kristie Miller - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review 3 (3):330-335.
Supernatural Beliefs and the Evolution of Cooperation.Pierrick Bourrat & Hugo Viciana - 2016 - In James Liddle & Todd K. Shackelford (eds.), Oxford Handbook of the Evolutionary Perspectives on Religion. Oxford University Press: Oxford University Press.
Modelling Religious Signalling.Carl Brusse - 2019 - Dissertation, Australian National University

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