New Approaches to the Scientific Study of Religion

Religious Speciation

How Religions Evolve

Authors: Wunn, Ina, Grojnowski, Davina

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  • Is the first correct theory of religious evolution
  • Is written by specialists in the Study of Religions as well as in Biology/Palaeontology
  • Presents the state of research and a critique of current evolutionary accounts in the Study of Religions
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-04435-0
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Hardcover $119.99
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About this book

This book presents a consecutive story on the evolution of religions. It starts with an analysis of evolution in biology and ends with a discussion of what a proper theory of religious evolution should look like. It discusses such questions as whether it is humankind or religion that evolves, how religions evolve, and what adaptation of religions means. Topics examined include inheritance and heredity, religio-speciation, hybridization, ontogenetics and epigenetics, phylogenetics, and systematics. Calling attention to unsolved problems and relating the evolutionary subject matter to appropriate material, the book integrates and interprets existing data. Based on the belief that an unequivocal stand is more likely to produce constructive criticism than evasion of an issue, the book chooses that interpretation of a controversial matter which seems most consistent with the emerging picture of the evolutionary process.

“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” the evolutionary biologist and co-founder of the so-called New Synthesis in Evolutionary Biology, Theodosius Dobszhansky (1900-1975), wrote in his famous essay of 1973, opposing creationism in American society. Today, Dobszhansky’s statement is not only fully accepted in biology, but has become the scientific paradigm in disciplines such as psychology, archaeology and the study of religions. Yet in spite of this growing interest in evolutionary processes in religion and culture, the term "evolution" and the capability of an evolutionary account have to date still not been properly understood by scholars of the Humanities. This book closes that gap.

About the authors

Ina Wunn studied Biology and Geology at Philipps-University of Marburg and received a doctorate in Palaeontology (Dr. rer. nat.) in 1985. After a three-year stay in Africa she returned to university to study Religious Studies and Philosophy and to do a doctoral degree in Religious Studies in 1999. In 2002, she received the postdoctoral lecturer qualification (venia legendi) in Religious Studies from University of Hanover and has subsequently been Professor of Religious Studies at the Universities of Bielefeld and, later,  Hanover. In her research Ina Wunn focuses on theory of science, especially scientific approaches in the humanities, as well as theories of the origin of religion and prehistoric religion.
Davina Grojnowski completed her doctoral degree in the field of Theology and Religious Studies at King's College London, UK. She holds an Undergraduate degree in Classics, also from King’s, and a Master’s degree in Jewish Studies from the University of Oxford. Her research interests lie in the religious literature of the Second Temple period, including the representation of the body in religious thought, and the origins of religion. She has taught at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, and King's College London, UK.

Table of contents (15 chapters)

Table of contents (15 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-04435-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Religious Speciation
Book Subtitle
How Religions Evolve
Authors
Series Title
New Approaches to the Scientific Study of Religion
Series Volume
6
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-04435-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-04435-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-04434-3
Series ISSN
2367-3494
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 280
Number of Illustrations
7 b/w illustrations, 15 illustrations in colour
Topics