Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict

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9780691151212: Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict

How did human societies scale up from tight-knit groups of hunter-gatherers to the large, anonymous, cooperative societies of today-even though anonymity is the enemy of cooperation? How did organized religions with "Big Gods"-the great monotheistic and polytheistic faiths-spread to colonize most minds in the world? In Big Gods, Ara Norenzayan makes the surprising argument that these fundamental puzzles about the origins of civilization answer each other. Sincere faith in watchful Big Gods unleashed unprecedented cooperation within ever-expanding groups, yet at the same time it introduced a new source of potential conflict between competing groups. And in some parts of the world, societies with atheist majorities-some of the most cooperative and prosperous in the world-have climbed religion's ladder, and then kicked it away. Big Gods answers fundamental questions about the origins and spread of world religions and helps us understand the rise of cooperative societies without belief in gods.

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Book Description:

"Ranging across quantitative studies, historical cross-cultural examples, theological texts, and the practices of believers, Norenzayan convincingly argues that religions with Big Gods are successful because they generate a sense of being watched and regulated, require extravagant displays of commitment that weed out religious impostors, and encourage solidarity and trust." --Publishers Weekly

"I found this book insightful, well-written, and to the point." --Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

"The book is a breakthrough, and will undoubtedly influence scientific perspectives on religion and secularism. . . . Without a doubt, Big Gods is a seminal and outstanding book, rocketing the psychological and evolutionary understanding of faith and secularization to new heights and new questions. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in human evolution, psychology, and the scientific study of religion." --Michael Blume, Evolution: This View of Life

"Once in a while, a whole field of research is pushed forward by a seminal work. Ara Norenzayan's Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict is one of those rare books bound to becoming a classic for a generation of colleagues and students." --Michael Blume, SciLogs

"This is an impressive work; it demonstrates how and why the Big Gods are still with us, and watching." --Reference & Research Book News

"I recommend it to readers interested in the relationships between religions, the non-religious, and nation states. It should be required reading for psychologists and sociologists." --John Harney, Magonia

"[T]his book is great value for the money: it provides energy, intriguing ideas and a joyous display of a fine mind, one that swoops and soars and frequently stops to preen, like some brightly coloured bird in an Edenic rainforest." --Donald Harman Akenson, Literary Review of Canada

"Norenzayan weaves in one convincing scientific study after another, leaving me (as a study junkie) highlighting about every page. . . . His thesis is fascinating and well worth a read (or two). Norenzayan is not prescribing a way to end religion or to suggest that one form of thinking over another is better, but to get at the underlying factors that bring a society from big gods to secularity. I'm sure any deeply held convictions about the nature of religion and disbelief will be challenged tremendously by Big Gods, and as any analytical thinker would probably say, why shouldn't they?" --Brandon G. Withrow, Discarded Image

"Ara Norenzayan's study Big Gods is an interesting study worthy to read." --Kristof K.P. Vanhoutte, Metapsychology

"Norenzayan analyzes religion primarily as a mechanism for enforcing social cooperation, a problem for which the evolution of increasingly more powerful gods provides a solution in increasingly large and complex societies. . . . With consistently clear organization and thorough documentation, this book combines explanations for cognitive belief in supernatural entities with social explanations of religion's function, advancing readers' understanding of how the former serves the latter." --Choice

About the Author:

Ara Norenzayan is professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. His work has been featured on CNN and in the "New York Times Magazine", the "Economist", "Der Spiegel", the "Boston Globe", the "Toronto Star", "Scientific American", and "New Scientist". He grew up in Beirut and lives in Vancouver.

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Norenzayan, Ara
Editore: Princeton University Press, Princeton (2013)
ISBN 10: 0691151210 ISBN 13: 9780691151212
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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2013. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 272 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. New book. RELIGION. How did human societies scale up from small, tight-knit groups of hunter-gatherers to the large, anonymous, cooperative socieies of today - even though anonymity is the enemy of cooperation? How did organized religions with "Big Gods" - the great monotheistic and polytheistic faiths - spread to colonize most minds in the world? (Key Words: Psychology, Ara Norenzayan, God, Religion, Human Society). book. Codice libro della libreria 79266X1

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2013. Condizione libro: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "This is an impressive work; it demonstrates how and why the Big Gods are still with us, and watching."-- Reference & Research Book News. Codice libro della libreria ABE_book_new_0691151210

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Descrizione libro 2013. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 164mm x 28mm x 239mm. Hardcover. How did human societies scale up from tight-knit groups of hunter-gatherers to the large, anonymous, cooperative societies of today--even though anonymity is the enemy of cooperation? How .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 248 pages. 0.558. Codice libro della libreria 9780691151212

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Descrizione libro Princeton Univ Pr, 2013. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Brand New. 1st edition. 248 pages. 9.50x6.50x1.25 inches. In Stock. Codice libro della libreria 0691151210

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Descrizione libro 2013. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 1. 12.4 x 19.8 cm. Looks at how the spread of organized religion helped civilization evolve from small groups of hunters and gatherers to large cooperative societies, and explores how such societies have risen in modern times without belief in gods. Hardback. Codice libro della libreria MM-48114289

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0691151210 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW4.0354963

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2013. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110691151210

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Descrizione libro 2013. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 164mm x 28mm x 239mm. Hardcover. How did human societies scale up from tight-knit groups of hunter-gatherers to the large, anonymous, cooperative societies of today--even though anonymity is the enemy of coop.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 248 pages. 0.558. Codice libro della libreria 9780691151212

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