Saturday, April 17, 2010

Recommended Reading

After my presentation at LSU on Atheist Proselytizing, (or Godless Evangelism), I was asked to provide a list of reading recommendations to supplement my fascination with the Cognitive Science of Religion. Here they are: -

Religion Explained - Pascal Boyer

Why Would Anyone Believe in God - Justin Barrett

In Gods We Trust – Scott Atran

Darwin’s Cathedral – David Sloan Wilson

The Selfish Gene –Richard Dawkins

The Meme Machine –Susan Blackmore

Breaking the Spell – Daniel Dennett

Supersense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable - Bruce M. Hood

The God Virus – Darryl Ray

The Evolution of Religion - Richard Sosis, Erica Harris, Russell Genet, Cheryl Genet, Karen Wyman, and Joseph Bulbulia

Introducing Anthropology of Religion - Jack David Eller

E.O. Wilson – Sociobiology

The Faith Instinct – Nicolas Wade

Also good reading but not directly relevant to religious beliefs are:

The Human Story - Robin Dunbar

The Accidental Mind – David Linden

How the Mind Works – Stephen Pinker

Also, there’s an excellent article by Paul Bloom called ‘Is God an Accident’. You can access it on

One book I would NOT recommend is The God Gene by Dean Hamer. I think reducing religious beliefs to the gene level is a crass over simplification and detracts from the group evolutionary psychological study.

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