Bellah harvard university evolution in the sphere of religion is traced on three levels. Bellah s treatment of the four great civilizations of the axial agein ancient israel, greece, china, and indiashows all existing religions, both prophetic and mystic, to be rooted in the evolutionary story he tells. Religion in human evolution answers the call for a critical history of religion grounded in. Review essay bellahs religion in human evolution a post. First and most central is the evolution of religious symbol systems which are described as moving from compact to differentiated.
Bellahs religion in human evolution falls into two rather different sections. From the paleolithic to the axial age, the last book he published, seeks to ground religion in human evolution. Introduction the robert bellah reader books gateway. He was internationally known for his work related to the sociology of religion. Read religion in human evolution pdf from the paleolithic to the axial age by robert n. Bellah gave a lecture at the university of chicago on the subject of religious evolution. Robert bellahs religion in human evolution is the most important systematic and historical treatment of religion since hegel, durkheim, and weber. It is a pageturner of a bildungsroman of the human spirit on a truly global scale, and should be on every educated persons bookshelves. As religious studies is not among my areas of expertise, i shall not attempt to evaluate either the originality of bellahs contributions in this area or. This ambitious book probes our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have imagined were worth living. Ritual, myth and theology frame bellah s story of how religion develops in human evolution.
Bellah is elliott professor of sociology emeritus at the university of california at berkeley. Geertz died in 2006 at the age of 80, so we cannot know his reaction to religion in human evolution, the magnum opus that the 84yearold bellah has just published. Pdf robert bellahs religion in human evolution seth. Review of norman jacobs, the origin of modern capitalism and eastern asia. Abstract as much as robert bellahs final work, religion in human evolution, has been studied and dissected, no critic underlined the. Bellah belknap press religion in human evolution is a work of extraordinary ambition. Nobody since max weber has produced such an erudite and systematic comparative world history of religion in its earlier phases. Though it is out of date in some respects it does still serve as a brief statement of bellah s position. Robert neelly bellah 192720 was an american sociologist and the elliott professor of sociology at the university of california, berkeley. The line between science and religion was so blurred that, for. Bellahs treatment of the four great civilizations of the axial agein ancient israel, greece, china, and indiashows all existing religions, both prophetic and mystic.30 344 562 483 819 1453 515 767 1178 1052 1497 1221 236 680 1474 515 1485 1470 1535 1443 295 1524 723 1296 1081 1223 309 273 1343 357 209 421 922 584 723