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Evolution in All Its Facets

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Part of the New Approaches to the Scientific Study of Religion book series (NASR,volume 10)


Evolution is both a theoretical term in the sciences, and the pivotal idea of philosophical systems, visions and ideologies. The grand narrative, the comprehensive tableau of evolution, provides meaning and interprets scientific theories, but is not in itself science. It is a worldview which can be described as developmentalism. It should be distinguished from evolutionary theories in cosmology, geology and biology. This distinction is of particular importance for the scientific study of religious evolution. Scientific knowledge is reflexive, because the subject of research is also its object. So, for example, the evolution of the religious mind is also the evolution of the scientist’s mind. We will call this aspect of scientific knowledge the “reflexive-phenomenon”. Therefore, the mutual influence of scientific results and world views is worthy of consideration. The epistemology of science demands that human religion be regarded as a natural phenomenon: as part of the res naturalia. Its scientific analysis provides substantive definitions and explains causal interactions by theoretical concepts. However, the immense complexity of the hominin behavior system which evolved towards a propensity of religion limits the possibilities of scientific modeling.


  • Evolutionary ideology
  • Developmentalism
  • Epistemology
  • Phenomenology
  • Substantive definition
  • Theoretical concept
  • Metaphysics
  • Transhumanism
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Oedipus complex

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-70408-7_1
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Hemminger, H. (2021). Evolution in All Its Facets. In: Evolutionary Processes in the Natural History of Religion. New Approaches to the Scientific Study of Religion , vol 10. Springer, Cham.

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