Survival of the Fittest, or: Creation and Evolution of the Abrahamic Religions

  • Ina Wunn
  • Davina Grojnowski
Part of the New Approaches to the Scientific Study of Religion book series (NASR, volume 6)


The evolution of the Abrahamic religions begins with the proto-religion of Middle Palaeolithic interments in the Fertile Crescent, it continues in the two-phase funerals of Jericho, all the way to the veneration of local deities on the hilltop sanctuaries of Judah, then it passes through an early henotheism and monotheism in the kingdom of Judah, followed by the Babylonian exile with its various influences, develops into Second Temple Judaism with its different communities and also into the religion of Samaria. Two daughter religions emerge from Second Temple Judaism, rabbinic Judaism and Christianity, from which in turn the Karaites (eighth century) and the Mormons (nineteenth century) split off respectively. An ancient form of Judaism on the Arabian Peninsula or a secondary, simplified variety of rabbinic Judaism turns into Islam in the seventh century, from which in turn various daughter religions develop: Druse, Yezidi, Ahamadiyya-Islam, Baha’i, and Alevism.


First religions Judah (origins of) Babylonian exile 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ina Wunn
    • 1
  • Davina Grojnowski
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of PhilosophyLeibniz University of HanoverHanoverGermany
  2. 2.Formerly King’s CollegeLondonUK

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