My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Atran offers an innovative and interesting look at religious thought. Rather than adopting an extreme stance on the existence of God or other similar metaphysical persons and concepts or the usefulness of religion for human life and attempting to defend this position through haphazard scholarship and polemic as have perhaps most thinkers who have addressed these issues, Atran adopts an explicitly agnostic stance and instead attempts to explore the relation between human evolution and religion, concluding that, no matters its truth or use-value, religion is part of human evolutionary psychology and is here to stay. Along the way, Atran provides a number of fascinating experiments, anecdotes, observations, and arguments to make his case and to criticize and critique other theories. No matter one’s disagree or agreement with Atran’s theory, this book provides a wealth of knowledge, a great deal of insight, and a plethora of fuel for thought.