The Varieties of Religious Purpose
This essay argues that economic scarcity, along with mankind’s evolved propensity for reciprocity, are keys to understanding the origins and evolution of Western religion in all its varieties and purposes. Scarcity is religion’s first cause uncaused. Eusocial cooperation and productive efficiency, which are mobilized by religion, are shown to be inherent and rational responses to scarcity. The reformation that began around 1500 CE represents the substitution of efficient secular (civil) religions for traditional theological varieties. The balance between traditional and secular religions is determined by cost, benefits, and the structure of economic payoffs.
Alexander, Richard. 1987. The Biology of Moral Systems. New York: Aldine De Gruyter.
Anselm. 1939 . Proslogium. In Anselm, Proslogium; Monologium; An Appendix in Behalf of the Fool by Gaunilon; and Cur Deus Homo. Translated by S. Deane. Chicago: Open Court.
Aquinas, Thomas. 1953 . Summa Theologica. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.
Atran, Scott. 2002. In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Barkin, Jerome, John Tooby, and Leda Cosmedes. 1992. The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. New York: Oxford University Press.
Becker, Gary. 1976. Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness. In Gary Becker, The Economic Approach to Human Behavior, 282–294. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Becker, Lawrence. 1990. Reciprocity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Bellah, Robert, and Phillip Hammond. 1980. Varieties of Civil Religion. New York: Harper and Row.
Berger, Peter. 2014. The Many Altars of Modernity: Toward a Paradigm for Religion in a Pluralist Age. Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9781614516477
Bloom, Harold. 1992. The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Buchanan, James. 1975. The Limits of Liberty: Between Anarchy and Leviathan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Burleigh, Michael. 2007. Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics, From the Great War to the War on Terror. New York: HarperCollins.
————. 2005. Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe from the French Revolution to the Great War. New York: HarperCollins.
Bushman, Richard. 2005. Rough Stone Rolling. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Cahn, Steven. 2017. Religion within Reason. New York: Columbia University Press. https://doi.org/10.7312/cahn18160
Casanova, José. 1994. Public Religions in the Modern World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Church of Scientology. 1998. What is Scientology? The Comprehensive Reference to the World’s Fastest Growing Religion, Based on the Writings of L. Ron Hubbard. Los Angeles: Bridge.
Darwin, Charles. 1871. The Decent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. New York: D. Appleton and Company.
Dawkins, Richard. 2006. The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
————. 2015. A Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science. New York: HarperCollins.
DeLong, J. Bradford. 1998. Estimating World GDP, One Million BC–Present. http://delong.typepad.com/print/20061012_LRWGDP.pdf
Dworkin, Ronald. 2013. Religion Without God. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Ekelund, Robert, Robert Hebert, Robert Tollison, Gary Anderson, and Audrey Davidson. 1996. Sacred Trust: The Medieval Church as an Economic Firm. New York: Oxford University Press.
Ellickson, Robert. 1991. Order Without Law: How Neighbors Settle Disputes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Freeman, Charles. 2003. The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Friedman, Milton. 1975. There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. Chicago: Open Court.
Grotius, Hugo. 2005 . The Rights of War and Peace, vol. 1. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund Portable Library of Liberty.
Habermas, Jürgen. 2009. Europe: The Faltering Project. Malden, MA: Polity Press.
Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, and John Jay. 1961 . The Federalist Papers. New York: New American Library. https://doi.org/10.4159/harvard.9780674332133
Harris, Sam. 2004. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Hauser, Marc. 2006. Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong. New York: HarperCollins.
Hitchens, Christopher. 2007. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. New York: Twelve.
Hobbes. Thomas. 1949 . De Cive or The Citizen. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Hubbard, L. Ron. 1950. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Los Angeles: Bridge.
Hume, David. 1876 . “Essay VIII: On Parties in General.” In The Philosophical Works of David Hume, Volume 3, edited by T. Green and T. Grose, 57–66. Edinburgh: Black and Tate.
Inglehart, Ronald. 2000. Culture and Democracy. In Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress, edited by L. Harrison and S. Huntington, 81–97. New York: Basic Books.
James, William. 1920 . The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature. London: Longmans, Green, and Company.
Kant, Immanuel. 1960 . Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone. New York: Harper Torchbooks.
Kapogiannis, Dimitrios, Aron K. Barbey, Michael Su, Frank Krueger, and Jordan Grafman. 2009. “Neuroanatomical Variability of Religiosity.” PLoS One 4(9): e7180. Online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2746321/pdf/pone.0007180.pdf. Accessed October 22, 2010.
King, William Casey. 2013. Ambition: A History from Vice to Virtue. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Krauss, Lawrence. 2012. A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing. New York: Free Press.
Locke, John. 1988 . Two Treatises of Government. New York: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511810268
MacDonald, Kevin. 1994. A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, With Diaspora Peoples. Westport, CT: Praeger.
————. 1998. Separation and its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Machiavelli, Niccolo. 1996 . Discourses on Livy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226500331.001.0001
Mises, Ludwig von. 2008 . Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, scholars ed. Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: Foundation for Economic Education.
Møller, Hans. 2017. 6 Blind Men. http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/134568/file-1208368053-jpg/6-blind-men-hans.jpg
Montanye, James A. 2016a. Book Review of “Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others,” by David Sloan Wilson. The Independent Review 20(3): 460–466. http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=1096
————. 2016b. Grievance and Shame in the Modern Age of Entitlement. Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 24(1): 59–85. https://doi.org/10.1558/eph.31168
————. 2015. A Theory of the Rights Concept. Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 23(1): 65–91. https://doi.org/10.1558/eph.v23i1.28988
Montanye, James A. 2012. Morality, Altruism, and Religion in Economics Perspective. Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 20(2): 19–44.
————. 2011. Property Rights and the Limits of Religious Liberty. The Independent Review 16(1): 27–52. http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=857
————. 2009. Civilization Without Romance. Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 17(2): 103–128.
————. 2006a. Entrepreneurship. The Independent Review 10(4): 547–569. http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=574.
————. 2006b. The Apotheosis of American Democracy. The Independent Review 11(1): 5–17. http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=582
2000. Values, Virtues, and the New American Testament. The Independent Review 4(4): 577–600. http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=262
Nelson, Robert. 2001. Economics as Religion: From Samuelson to Chicago and Beyond. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania University Press.
Nelson, Robert. 2010. The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion vs. Environmental Religion in Contemporary America. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press.
Newberg, Andrew, Eugene D’Aquili, and Vince Rause. 2001. Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief. New York: Ballantine.
Newberg, Andrew, and Robert Waldman. 2006. Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth. New York: Free Press.
————. 2009. How God Changes Your Brain. New York: Ballantine Books.
Niebuhr, Helmut Richard. 1989. Faith on Earth: An Inquiry into the Structure of Human Faith. Edited by R. Niebuhr. New Haven: Yale University Press.
North, Douglass. 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance. New York: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511808678
Novick, Peter. 1999. The Holocaust in American Life. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Olson, Mancur. 1971 . The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Ostrom, Elinor. 1990. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. New York: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511807763
Pagels, Elaine. 2003. Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas. New York: Random House.
Plato. 1997a. “Euthyphro.” In Plato: Complete Works, edited by J. M Cooper, 1–16. Indianapolis: Hackett.
————. 1997b. “Timeus.” In Plato: Complete Works, edited by J. M Cooper, 1224–1291. Indianapolis: Hackett.
Posner, Eric. 2000. Law and Social Norms. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Putnam, Robert. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster. https://doi.org/10.1145/358916.361990
Putnam, Robert, and David Campbell. 2010. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Rahe, Paul. 2017. The Return of the Caliph. Claremont Review of Books 17(1): 22–24.
Rauh, Nicholas. 1993. The Sacred Bonds of Commerce: Religion, Economy, and Trade Society at Hellenistic Roman Delos, 166–87 BC. Amsterdam, Netherlands: J. C. Gieben.
Ridley, Matt. 1997. The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Viking.
————. 2010. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. New York: HarperCollins.
Robbins, Lionel. 1962 . The Nature and Significance of Economic Science. London: Macmillan.
Roberts, David. 2015. “Grand Canyon on the Edge.” Smithsonian 45(11): 58–69, 92, 94.
Rosemont, Henry and Huston Smith. 2008. Is There a Universal Grammar of Religion? Chicago: Open Court.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1954 . The Social Contract. Translated by W. Kendall. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company.
Ruse, Michael. 2001. Can a Darwinian Be a Christian?: The Relationship Between Science and Religion. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Sand, Shlomo. 2012. The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land To Homeland. New York: Verso.
————. 2010. The Invention of the Jewish People. New York: Verso.
Schjoedt, Uffe, Hans Stødkilde-Jørgensen, Armin W. Geertz, and Andreas Roepstorff. 2009. “Highly Religious Participants Recruit Areas of Social Cognition in Personal Prayer.” Journal of Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience 4(2): 199–207. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2686228/pdf/nsn050.pdf
Schumpeter, Joseph. 1942. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. New York: Harper and Brothers.
Seligman, Adam. 1997. The Problem of Trust. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Smith, Adam, and Bruce Yandle. 2014. Bootleggers and Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics. Washington, DC: Cato Institute.
Stark, Rodney. 2005. The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success. New York: Random House.
Stark, Rodney, and Roger Finke 2000. Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion. Oakland: University of California Press.
Taylor, Charles. 2007. A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Trivers, Robert. 1985. Social Evolution. Menlo Park, CA.: Benjamin/Cummings.
Vatican. 1995. Catechism of the Catholic Church. New York: Doubleday.
White, Andrew Dixon. 1896. A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom. 2 vols. London: Macmillan.
Wilson, David S. 2002. Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226901374.001.0001
Wilson, E.O. 2012. The Social Conquest of Earth. New York: Liveright.
————. 1978. On Human Nature. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Witham, Larry. 2010. Marketplace of the Gods: How Economics Explains Religion. New York: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394757.001.0001