Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

The relationship between religion and morality is a subject of widespread interest and intense debate: Is morality a product of religion? Can one be moral without religion? Can moral claims be justified outside of a religious context? These are important questions that have been subject to much investigation by theologians and philosophers, among others. Evolutionary studies provide a different way into this topic. Morality has long been a subject for evolutionary research, but an evolutionary approach to religion, based on research into the evolution of the brain, is a recent development, and one that is developing a substantial empirical grounding. Drawing on the insights from both of these fields, this chapter sets out the evolved cognitive mechanisms that constitute the nexus of religion and morality. In addition to providing insight into the nature of religious morality, this model may also help clarify the role religion played in human evolution.

Keywords: religion, morality, evolutionary psychology, evolution, cognition

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.