Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science
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Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
20 (1), March 1985

Table of Contents


A Biological Interpretation of Moral Systems by Richard D. Alexander

Moral systems are described as systems of indirect reciprocity, existing because of histories of conflicts of interest and arising as outcomes of the complexity of social interactions in groups of long-lived individuals with varying conflicts and confluences of interest and indefinitely iterated social interactions. Although morality is commonly defined as involving justice for all people, or consistency in the social treatment of all humans, it may have arisen for immoral reasons, as a force leading to cohesiveness within human groups but specifically excluding and directed against other human groups with different interests.
Richard D. Alexander is the Donald Ward Tinkle Professor of evolutionary biology and curator of insects, Museum of Zoology and Division of Biological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109. Thanks are extended to Laura Betzig, Warren G. Holmes, Gordon L. Kane, Bobbi S. Low, Gene Mesher, Paul W. Sherman, Rpbert Smuts, and Richard Wrangham for commenting on the manuscript.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00574.x

Human Ceremonial Ritual and the Modulation of Aggression by Eugene G. d’Aquili

Human ceremonial ritual is considered as an evolved behavior, one of the principal effects of which is the promotion of intragroup cohesion by decreasing or eliminating intragroup aggression. It is seen as a major determinant of what Victor Turner calls communitas in human social groups of varying extension. The frequent paradoxical effect of ritual’s promoting extragroup aggression at the same time that it diminishes intragroup aggression is considered. A neuroevolutionary model of the development and social effects of ritual behavior is presented, being derived from both ethology and recent neurophysiological studies in humans.
Eugene G. d’Aquili is associate professor of clinical psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, University and Woodland Avenues, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00575.x

Ideology as Brain Disease by Lionel Tiger

The brain evolved not to think but to act, and ideology is an act of social affiliation which can be compared to kin affiliation, both satisfyingly emotional and expressing a perception about the nature of the real world central to the nature of being human. Males may affiliate to macrosocial ideologies more enthusiastically than females because of their relative lack of certainty of kin relationships. Exogamy was the necessary solution to kin-related strife in prehistory. Perhaps what the world needs is not only a moral equivalent to war but an ideological equivalent to exogamy to resolve social differences on a much larger scale.
Lionel Tiger is professor of anthropology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00576.x

Changed Concepts of Brain and Consciousness: Some Value Implications by Roger Sperry

Prospects for uniting religion and science are brightened by recently changed views of consciousness and mind-brain interaction. Mental, vital, and spiritual forces, long excluded and denounced by materialist philosophy, are reinstated in nonmystical form. A revised scientific cosmology emerges in which reductive materialist interpretations emphasizing causal control from below upward are replaced by revised concepts that emphasize the reciprocal control exerted by higher emergent forces from above downward. Scientific views of ourselves and the world and the kinds of values upheld by scientific belief undergo basic transformations, making them more compatible with religious motivation and moral responsibility.
R. W. Sperry is Trustee Professor Emeritus of Psychobiology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00577.x

I Am the Way: Michael Polanyi’s Taoism by James W. Stines

Several contemporary writers have found certain correlations between Taoism and modern philosophy of science to be particularly noteworthy because of their usefulness for interpreting world views, implicit or explicit, in each. However, the recent project in science and epistemology—the work of Michael Polanyi—which is probably most fruitfully resonant with Taoism has not yet been explored in that connection. The purpose of the present article is to begin that exploration. The essay provides a preliminary sketch of certain key moments in Polanyi’s thought and then turns attention to the Taoist themes of Tao, wu-wei, and tz’u as these illuminate and are illuminated by the Polanyian post-critical epistemology.
James W. Stines is professor of philosophy and religion, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina 28608.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00578.x


Anthropological Definitions of Religion by Robert A. Segal

Murray Wax’s call (Zygon, March 1984) for a less parochial anthropological definition of religion is admirable but in several respects moot.

First of all, Wax’s call is scarcely novel, as he himself recognizes. As far back as 1871 Edward Taylor, the “father” of anthropology, objected to the narrowness of Andrew Lang’s definition of religion—the belief in a single supreme god—and proposed instead the belief in gods, or “spiritual beings,” of any kind (Tylor 1871, chap. 1). In 1909 R. R. Marett objected in turn to the narrowness of Tylor’s definition and advocated instead the belief in powers of any kind, whether impersonal ones or, as gods, personalities (Marett 1909, chap. 1). It was likewise against the parochialism of definitions like Tylor’s that Emile Durkheim in 1912 redefined religion as the belief in the sacred, thereby encompassing inanimate objects and even human beings as well as gods (Durkheim 1915, bk. 1, chap. 1). A search for ever more comprehensive definitions spans the history of the anthropology of religion. …
Robert A. Segal is assistant professor of religious studies, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00579.x

The Paradoxes Are Numerous by Murray L. Wax

Western society is characterized by an intensive division of social labor in both its occupational structure and its institutional framework. Not only are there, for example, a set of occupations (“educators”) claiming the specialty of teaching but also a set of institutions (“schools”) claiming to be the agencies for such teaching. Rival parties debate the claims of other persons and agencies to bear those mandates, and an elaborate and polemical rhetoric flourishes about the extent to which one or another is actually performing the task of “educating” (Hughes 1971). One might then define as “primitive” those numerous societies where that refined division of social and institutional labor is lacking and the corresponding rhetoric is absent. In such societies children—and adults—nonetheless learn and even sometimes are subjected to brief periods of formal instruction, but there is no specialized vocabulary of educating. …
Murray L. Wax is professor of sociology, Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri 63130.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00580.x

Review Essay

A Jungian View of Evil by Robert A. Segal

On the one hand Jungian John Sanford criticizes Carl Jung for underestimating the importance granted evil by at least some strains of Christianity. On the other hand Sanford follows Jung in assuming that psychology is entitled to criticize Christianity whenever it fails to grant evil its due. Like Jung, Sanford contends that he is faulting Christianity on only psychological grounds: for failing to cope with evil in man—the shadow archetype. In fact, Sanford, like perhaps Jung as well, is also criticizing Christianity on metaphysical grounds: for failing to acknowledge not just psychological but also ontological evil. Whether Sanford is thereby using psychology to assess Christian metaphysics is the issue.
Robert A. Segal is assistant professor of religious studies, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00581.x


Erikson by J. Eugene Wright, reviewed by Elizabeth Willems

Elizabeth Willems, SSND; Doctoral Candidate; Marquette University
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00582.x

Insights and Oversights of Great Thinkers by Charles Hartshorne, reviewed by John D. Gilroy, Jr.

John D. Gilroy, Jr.; Assistant Professor of Philosophy; Marquette University
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00582.x

The Gospel from Outer Space by Robert L. Short, reviewed by David R. Breed

David R. Breed; Doctoral Candidate; Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00582.x

The Cosmic Code by Heinz R. Pagels, reviewed by Barbara Ann DeMartino Swyhart

Barbara Ann DeMartino Swyhart; Professor of Philosophy and Religion; James Madison University
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00582.x

Science, Theology and Einstein by Iain Paul, reviewed by Thomas M. Ross

Thomas M. Ross; Doctoral Student; Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00582.x

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