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Jacob Cox
Jacob Cox

In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape Of...



Where do gods come from? In this chapter I will argue that archaeologists (as well as other scientists, philosophers, and theologians) can now also appropriately assume that the reproduction of supernatural agents in Çatalhöyük occurred in much the same way that it does today, at least in small-scale societies. Although we have known where babies come from for several millennia, only within the last few decades have we come to understand more fully why gods appear (and are cared for) in human populations. As with the process of bearing children, one finds an astonishing variety of ways of ritually surrounding and socially manipulating the process of bearing supernatural agents. Beliefs about and behaviors toward the latter are regulated and transmitted differently in the major religious traditions that were forged within complex literate states during the axial age and now dominate the global landscape. Nevertheless, all members of our species share a phylogenetic heritage that includes sets of cognitive and coalitional tendencies, which together help to explain why gods are so easily born(e) across cultures in time and space.




In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of...

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