Psychology and the Origins of Religion
To pose questions regarding the origin of religion from a social scientific stance is to enter a dangerous territory. Deviation from orthodox stances espoused by religious authorities has always been negatively viewed and often suppressed. In the mid- to late twentieth century, this has taken the form of serious confrontation in education even involving the federal courts. Religiously premised frameworks termed scientific creationism and intelligent design continue to be aggressively pursued by religious conservatives to counter scientific, biological, and evolutionary teachings that are viewed as challenging scripture and church doctrines.
A Brief Look at History
Anthropologists introduced such variation in the nineteenth century though their orientation was not to analyze or question the Judeo-Christian tradition but to follow a safe path by examining the faiths of peoples they termed primitive. This approach did not threaten the Western religious establishment...
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