The Trouble with “Evolution of Religion”


  • Justin L. Barrett Fuller Theological Seminary



evolution, selection, Darwinian selection, Non-Darwinian selection, religion, sociology


The Trouble with “Evolution of Religion”

Author Biography

Justin L. Barrett, Fuller Theological Seminary

Fuller Theological Seminary


Atran, Scott. 2002. In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Boyer, Pascal. 2001. Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought. New York: Basic Books.

Barrett, Justin L. 2011. “Cognitive Science of Religion: Looking Back, Looking Forward.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50(2): 229-239.

Barrett, Justin. L. 2013. “Exploring Religion’s Basement: The Cognitive Science of Religion.” In Handbook of the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, Second Edition, edited by Raymond F. Paloutzian and Crystal L. Park, 234-255. New York: Guilford.

Barrett, Justin L. 2017. “Could we advance the science of religion (better) without the concept ‘religion’?” Religion, Brain, and Behavior 7(4): 282-284.

McCauley, Robert N. and E. Thomas Lawson. 2002. Bringing Ritual to Mind: Psychological Foundations of Cultural Forms. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Norenzayan, Ara, Azim F. Shariff, Will M. Gervais, Aiyana K. Willard, Rita A. McNamara, Edward Slingerland and Joseph Henrich. 2016. “The Cultural Evolution of Prosocial Religions.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39: e1

Pyysiäinen, Ilkka. 2009. Supernatural Agents: Why We Believe in Souls, Gods, and Buddhas. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sykes, Bryan. 2006. Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.

Taves, Ann. 2009. Religious Experience Reconsidered: A Building-block Approach to the Study of Religion and Other Special Things. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.



How to Cite

Barrett, J. L. (2018). The Trouble with “Evolution of Religion”. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion, 4(1), 31–36.