Evolution of God by Robert Wright

The Evolution of God

The Evolution of God is a book that explores the history of the concept of God in the three Abrahamic religions through a variety of means, including archaeology, history, theology, and evolutionary psychology.

The author, Robert Wright, starts with the deities of hunter-gatherer tribes, moves to those of chiefdoms and nations, then on to the polytheism of the early Israelites and the monotheism that followed, and then to the New Testament and the Koran, before finishing off with the modern multinational Gods of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

One of the central themes of the book is the patterns which link Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and the ways in which they have changed their concepts over time.

Wright tries to make a reconciliation between science and religion and proposes that the increasing goodness of God reflects the increasing goodness of our species.

He argues that each of the major Abrahamic faiths has been forced toward moral growth as it found itself interacting with other faiths on a multinational level, and that this expansion of the moral imagination reflects “a higher purpose, a transcendent moral order.”

What I Liked

Interesting arguments, but the history is where the book is fascinating.

What I Did Not Like

Not a whole lot. I might quibble with some of the arguments, but it’s really just a history of religion book.

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