Mystic Politics has compiled the top 20 theories on the origin of religion, from animism to agrarian magic.
Religion is a species-specific human universal phenomenon, complex, full of paradoxes, and found in all cultures. Social scientists and anthropologists since the late 17th century have attempted to rationally answer questions about religion, and while we can’t evaluate the veracity of religion’s claims, we can attempt to understand its functions.
The methods of comparative religion, comparative mythology, with interdisciplinary analysis throughout the fields of ethnography, neuroscience, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, and linguistics have made a lot of progress in the last 100 years, with a boom of database-driven analysis in the last decade.
There are a number of theories attempting to explain the mystery of religion’s origin, purpose, functions and spread, from ancestor and soul worship, animism, totemism, spirit propitiation, magic theory, cultural memes, agrarian overseer gods, fear and worship of spirits, evolved adaption, or by-product of evolved adaption, and as a control mechanism.
There are multiple definitions and criterion of religion, most dealing with the supernatural, the unknown, the ineffable, the numinous, that terrific agency of the gods, or the comfort of ancestors and hero archetypes.
Let’s examine some of these meta-theories of religion’s origins to see what we can sort out.
How do you think religion got started? (:
Read the article: Agrarian Magic: 20 Theories on the Origin of Religion