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Journal for the Study of Religion

On-line version ISSN 2413-3027
Print version ISSN 1011-7601


PROZESKY, Martin. Will Religion Survive? A Critical Discussion of the Divergent Answers of two Atheists: Archaeologist David Lewis-Williams and Philosopher of Religion J.L. Schellenberg. J. Study Relig. [online]. 2018, vol.31, n.2, pp.259-275. ISSN 2413-3027.

Underlying this article are the questions of how to demarcate the phenomena to which the term 'religion' refers, and of how to differentiate between interpreting and explaining such phenomena - a matter to which David Chidester has offered guidance. These questions are approached by considering a different but closely related question: Does religion have a future, as answered in important recent books by two eminent scholars, both of them atheists, working in very different academic disciplines. These are the books of archaeologist, David Lewis-Williams, Conceiving God: The cognitive origins and evolution of religion (Lewis-Williams 2010) and philosopher of religion, J.E. Schellenberg's more recent work, Evolutionary religion (Schellenberg 2013). These works provide divergent answers to whether religion has a future - a divergence arising from different views about what constitutes religion. This article refers to their respective views, then provides a critical discussion of both, and ends by engaging, where relevant, with ideas in the work of David Chidester.

Keywords : future religion; evolution; brain science; unethical religion; explanation; interpretation.

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