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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Biology of Religion by Fil Munas explores religion as it pertains to human behavior with the goal of the book being to answer the basic question about what religious behavior is. The book includes thorough facts and well-researched history to present paleontological evidence dating back to the earliest records of religious behavior. Munas explores different interconnections with religion through morality, marriage, and patriarchy. The book goes through various religions which offer different worldviews and perspectives with each playing a key role in understanding religious behavior and its function. The five existential domains of behaviors, an understanding of how death and sapience and the three primary epiphenomena are also delved into throughout the book.
This is a unique book through its approach to religion via the lens of behavior with evidence provided dating to early history and explored through various cultures. Fil Munas dives into religion through an explanation of the basic understanding of behavior through a psychological, historical, and scientific perspective. Biology of Religion opens with a look at behavior itself that explains the domains of behavior - including feeding, reproduction, economics, and politics. The rest of the book focuses on providing an understanding of religion as a natural part of our behavior and how it has shaped society throughout history. Part of understanding behavior is to understand the biology of it which includes natural selection, paleolithic humans, and sapience. The writing is thorough, well-researched, easy to understand, and thought-provoking. Munas will open your mind to new ideas about religion while making you think differently about behavior and sparking discussions. Patriarchy, war, and altruism are explored as three primary epiphenomena linked to behavior and religion.
The functions of religion explored, as are morality, family, law, and government. Each of these concepts is an important aspect of understanding religious behavior with each giving a thorough account of various religions around the world and throughout history. This includes Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism, among others. Those interested in learning more about religion and behavior will enjoy this thought-provoking read. Biology of Religion explores concepts that include death and natural selection, epiphenomena, and the functions of religion.