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Projecting WEIRD features on ancient religions

  • Pascal Boyer (a1) and Nicolas Baumard (a2)

The proposed narrative relies on an anachronistic projection of current religions onto prehistorical and historical cultures that were not concerned with prosocial morality or with public statement of belief. Prosocial morality appeared in wealthier post-Axial environments. Public demonstrations of belief are possible and advantageous when religious diversity starts interacting with coalitional recruitment dynamics in large-scale societies, a typical feature of modern, so-called WEIRD societies.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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