Religious Speciation

How Religions Evolve

  • Ina Wunn
  • Davina Grojnowski

Part of the New Approaches to the Scientific Study of Religion book series (NASR, volume 6)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 1-7
  3. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 9-32
  4. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 33-45
  5. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 67-83
  6. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 85-101
  7. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 103-126
  8. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 127-147
  9. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 149-168
  10. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 169-194
  11. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 195-207
  12. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 209-222
  13. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 223-241
  14. Ina Wunn, Davina Grojnowski
    Pages 257-267
  15. Back Matter
    Pages 269-280

About this book


This book presents a consecutive story on the evolution of religions. It starts with an analysis of evolution in biology and ends with a discussion of what a proper theory of religious evolution should look like. It discusses such questions as whether it is humankind or religion that evolves, how religions evolve, and what adaptation of religions means. Topics examined include inheritance and heredity, religio-speciation, hybridization, ontogenetics and epigenetics, phylogenetics, and systematics. Calling attention to unsolved problems and relating the evolutionary subject matter to appropriate material, the book integrates and interprets existing data. Based on the belief that an unequivocal stand is more likely to produce constructive criticism than evasion of an issue, the book chooses that interpretation of a controversial matter which seems most consistent with the emerging picture of the evolutionary process.

“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” the evolutionary biologist and co-founder of the so-called New Synthesis in Evolutionary Biology, Theodosius Dobszhansky (1900-1975), wrote in his famous essay of 1973, opposing creationism in American society. Today, Dobszhansky’s statement is not only fully accepted in biology, but has become the scientific paradigm in disciplines such as psychology, archaeology and the study of religions. Yet in spite of this growing interest in evolutionary processes in religion and culture, the term "evolution" and the capability of an evolutionary account have to date still not been properly understood by scholars of the Humanities. This book closes that gap.


religious evolution by-product of religion adaptation of a religion selection of a religion religio-speciation religion an evolving unit evolution in studies of religion heredity and inheritance among religions hybridization of religions Systematics of religions

Authors and affiliations

  • Ina Wunn
    • 1
  • Davina Grojnowski
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of PhilosophyLeibniz University of HanoverHanoverGermany
  2. 2.Formerly King’s CollegeLondonUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-04434-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-04435-0
  • Series Print ISSN 2367-3494
  • Series Online ISSN 2367-3508
  • Buy this book on publisher's site