Why “Cultural Evolution of Religion”?

Sociologists such as Robert Bellah and Stephen Sanderson approach the origins and development of religion from an historical perspective that draws heavily on notions of political economy and social change.  Their work differs greatly from the cultural evolutionists (such as Morgan and Tylor) that are negatively and normatively associated with early anthropology.  Rather than attempting to apply principles of biological evolution to culture, these theorists assess cultural change over time, and correlate changes in the structure of societies with changes in their religious beliefs and practices.  This Category will highlight theirs and similar work.

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