Cover image for Why Gods persist : a scientific approach to religion
Why Gods persist : a scientific approach to religion
Hinde, Robert A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Routledge, 1999.
Physical Description:
288 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library BL48 .H475 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



First published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Practically every human culture has evolved some kind of religion or other, invoking supernatural powers/beings/principles for which God may be regarded as the personified essence. The rise of scientific and naturalistic explanations of the world has tended to dilute some of the traditional views of God, but they have never succeeded in eliminating the notion of God or its equivalent altogether from human societies. Hinde's book is an informed, scholarly, and insightful analysis of the emergence of various religions in different contexts. Written by a scientist (formerly Cambridge Univ.), the analysis is essentially in terms of biology, psychology, evolution, anthropology, etc., reducing God to a notion that has, for various practical and inevitable reasons, emerged in the human mind. Therefore, the book is unlikely to appeal to religious people who view God as having existed prior to human emergence. Any "scientific approach to religion" is likely to shake, if not destroy, the very foundation of some traditional religions, but a scientific interpretation of religious systems beliefs (which is what this book is) could be (as this book is) valuable to those who are interested in religion as a social/cultural phenomenon. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. V. V. Raman; Rochester Institute of Technology

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