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Lecture: "The Cultural Evolution of Religion"
Azim Shariff, Assistant Professorof Psychology at the University of Oregon, will be presenting his work onevolution and religion.
Abstract: When Dobzhansky asserted that nothing made sense in biology except in the light of evolution, he was highlighting the revolutionary power that an overarching explanatory framework had for uniting what was previously a smattering of unconnected observations. In recent years, evolutionary perspectives on religion have offered a similar promise for explaining the curious forms, functions and origins of religious systems. Focusing primarily on my own research on religion and behavior as an example, I will discuss theories about the evolution of religion. I will also discuss cultural blind spots in this research and a plan for a more culturally inclusive psychology of religion.