The Problem of the Origin of Religion in the Mirror of Psychology: from Classics to Contemporaries

298

Abstract

Objective. To present the classical points of view on the problem of the origin of religion and give an overview of modern views. Acquaintance with the described approaches will make it possible to better represent the current state of this problem and develop the own position on the basis of the directions developed in domestic psychology. Background. The problem of the origin of religion — the important socio-psychological phenomenon — was not in the focus of attention of domestic psychologists, therefore, with rare exceptions, the approaches to its solution proposed abroad were not highlighted in the scientific literature. In the spring of 2020, the international journal “Archive of Psychology of Religion” prepared a special issue dealing with the stated problem. It was another proof of the interest of foreign scientists in this topic and demonstrated the main approaches that have been formed to date on this issue. Methodology. Descriptive and comparative analysis methods. Conclusions. It is shown that at the present stage the main opposition on the problem of the origin of religion is observed between the supporters of the cognitive direction, who consider the emergence of religion exclusively as a result of the work of cognitive processes, as an accidental by-product of evolution, and supporters of cultural evolutionists, who consider religion a useful adaptation in the process of evolution. The examples of the works of the leading representatives of these areas demonstrate the most characteristic features of these approaches and the main discussion points. In this article we also discussed the work of researches who were trying to build a bridge between these opposing points of view and bring them closer together.

General Information

Keywords: psychology of religion, origin of religion, culture, cognitive processes, evolution

Journal rubric: Theoretical Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/sps.2022130204

Received: 03.09.2020

Accepted:

For citation: Pavlenko V.N. The Problem of the Origin of Religion in the Mirror of Psychology: from Classics to Contemporaries. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2022. Vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 40–54. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2022130204. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

References

  1. Buaie P. Ob”yasnyaya religiyu: priroda religioznogo myshleniya [Explaining Religion: The Nature of Religious Thinking]. Moscow: Al’pina nonfikshn, 2016. 496 p. (In Russ.).
  2. Dokinz R. Bog kak illyuziya [God as an illusion]. Moscow: KoLibri, 2012. 560 p. (In Russ.).
  3. Dyurkgeim E. Elementarnye formy religioznoi zhizni: totemicheskaya sistema v Avstralii [Elementary Forms of Religious Life: The Totemic System in Australia]. Moscow: Elementarnye formy, 2018. 808 p. (In Russ.).
  4. Malinovskii B. Magiya, nauka i religiya [Magic, science and religion]. Moscow: Refl-buk, 1998. 288 p. (In Russ.).
  5. N’yuberg E., D’Akvili E., Rauz V. Taina boga i nauka o mozge. Neirobiologiya very i religioznogo opyta [The Secret of God and the Science of the Brain. The neurobiology of faith and religious experience]. Moscow: Eksmo, 2013. 320 p. (In Russ.).
  6. Freid Z. Totem i tabu. Psikhologiya pervobytnoi kul’tury i religii [Totem and taboo. Psychology of primitive culture and religion]. Lenizdat — klassika, 2013. 224 p. (In Russ.).
  7. Freid Z. Budushchee odnoi illyuzii [The future of one illusion]. Kyiv: Folio, 2013. 157 p. (In Russ.).
  8. Barnard P.J. Sticks, stones, and the origins of sapience. In Overmann K.A., Coolidge F.L. (еds.). Squeezing minds from stones: Cognitive archaeology and the evolution of the human mind. Oxford University Press, 2019, pp. 102—127.
  9. Barrett J.L. On the naturalness of religion and religious freedom. In Shah T.S., Friedman J. (eds.). Homo religiosus? Exploring the roots of religion and religious freedom in human experience. Cambridge University Press, 2018, pp. 67—88.
  10. Clark K.J. God and the brain: the rationality of belief. Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2019. 431 p.
  11. Dunbar R.I.M. Religion, the social brain and the mystical stance. Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 2020. Vol. 42(1), pp. 46—62. DOI:10.1177/0084672419900547
  12. Jones J.W. How ritual might create religion: A neuropsychological exploration. Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 2020. Vol. 42(1), pp. 29—45. DOI:10.1177/0084672420903112
  13. Lawson E.T., McCauley R.N. Rethinking religion: Connecting cognition and culture. Cambridge University Press, 1990. 385 p.
  14. Mithen S.J. The prehistory of the mind. Thames & Hudson, 1996. 412 p.
  15. Sosis R. Four advantages of a systemic approach to the study of religion. Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 2020. Vol. 42(1), pp. 142—157. DOI:10.1177/0084672420905019
  16. Van Slyke J.A., Szocik K. Sexual selection and religion: Can the evolution of religion be explained in terms of mating strategies? Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 2020. Vol. 42(1), pp. 123—141. DOI:10.1177/0084672420909460
  17. Watts F. The evolution of religious cognition. Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 2020. Vol. 42(1), pp. 89—100. DOI:10.1177/0084672420909479
  18. Whitehouse H. Modes of religiosity: A cognitive theory of religious transmission. AltaMira Press, 2004. 388 p.

Information About the Authors

Valentina N. Pavlenko, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Chair of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4947-3995, e-mail: vnp49@ukr.net

Metrics

Views

Total: 1110
Previous month: 45
Current month: 47

Downloads

Total: 298
Previous month: 6
Current month: 11