The roots of this issue of Zygon are grounded in a discussion between some members of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS) in Toronto after the 1981 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. IRAS, which is a copublisher of this journal, had then recently become an affiliate society of the AAAS, and many of us were trying to develop programs in science and religion that would be amenable to scientific inquiry.
As the discussion unfolded it assumed a broad evolutionary perspective. In this context it was proposed that the interrelationships between biological evolution and cultural change should be explored. The broad topic suggested to do this was biocultural evolution.
For pragmatic reasons more attention should be devoted to the serious study of religion. Although religions inspire great achievements of human creativity, it is important to understand them because they also promote violence and warfare. One can understand the unacceptable face of religion when one sees why religions matter to those who belong to them; why they are bound to be conservative, especially in times of stress; and why, therefore, believers become very passionate about defending the boundaries of their particular religious systems. Such understanding provides a realistic basis for working toward the peaceful coexistence of conflicting religious systems.
J. W. Bowker is Dean, Trinity College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England CB2 1TQ.
War, Peace, and Religions Biocultural Evolution by Ralph Wendell Burhoe
A recent scientifically and historically grounded theory on human genetic and cultural evolution suggests why the religious elements of culture became the primary source of both peaceful cooperation within societal ingroups and at the same time of destructive wars with outgroups. It also describes the role of religion in the evolution of ape-men into humans. The theory indicates why human societal life is not long viable without the underpinning of a healthy, noncoercive, religious faith; why sound religious faith is weak now; and why we may hope both for better morals and for worldwide cooperation in peace.
Ralph Wendell Burhoe, 1524 East 59th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637, is the founding editor of Zygon and research professor emeritus in theology and the sciences, Meadville/Lombard Theological School.
Imperialistic Missionarism and the Kibbutz Paradigm for Coexistence by Mordechai Rotenberg
Hegelian-Marxian doctrines of dialectic progress through war and conflict are traced to Christian theosophy of historical necessity and "imperialistic missionarism." Jewish fossilized existence is traced to its antiproselytizing "kibbutz" ideology of dialogic coexistence. Tolerance is possible either through an ideological balance of terror between equal opposing powers or through mutual volitionary space evacuating Cabalic style contraction. According to the Biblical definition of covenant, brit, a coexisting shalom (peace) is possible only through separating and rebinding which comprises the shalem (complete). Japanese Makuya Christianity is presented as an anti-imperialistic model for mutual contraction facilitating the coexisting shalom-shalem between equals who are different but not indifferent to each other.
Mordechai Rotenberg is associate professor of psychology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Paul Baerwald School of Social Work, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel 91905. The field research among the Japanese Makuya was made possible with the support of a grant from the American Philosophical Society.
Revitalization Movements and the Hope of Peace by Alice B. Kehoe
Anthropological analysis of religion, following Bronislaw Malinowski, is founded in empirical observational data gained at least in part by participant observation. Malinowski described religion as a "sociological charter" which is a "retrospective moral pattern of behavior," constructed as a myth after the fact of behavior. Anthony F. C. Wallace's revitalization model provides the mechanism through which the Malinowskian charter is developed. Jack Wilson's Ghost Dance religion is briefly described as an example of a revitalization movement, and it is suggested that both contemporary peace movements and militant Christian movements are revitalization movements.
Alice B. Kehoe is professor of anthropology, Department of Social and Cultural Sciences, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233.
Two Cultures of Religion as Obstacles to Peace by Elise Boulding
There are two contrasting cultures in every religious tradition, the holy war and peaceable garden cultures. Examples are given for Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Conflict is basic to human existence, stemming from the uniqueness of human individuals and their groups. Churches, instead of helping their societies develop the middle-ground skills of negotiation and mediation, have insisted on a choice between two extreme behaviors: unitive love or destruction of the enemy. In international affairs this has led to the identification of the church with the state in wartime and kept it from claiming the important middle ground of peacemaking. Institutionalized religion can pick up its missed opportunities.
Elise Boulding, professor emeritus of sociology, Dartmouth College, lives at 624 Pearl Street, Boulder, Colorado 80302.
Peace, Justice, Freedom, and Competence by Kenneth E. Boulding
Peace, justice, and freedom are hard to define, but closely related. Peace has many meanings; an important one is "inclusive peace," defined by dividing total human activity into war and "not war." Justice is an elusive concept related to the legitimacy of property and the structure of equality. Freedom "to," "from," and "of" have different meanings, all related to the boundaries and legitimacy of property. The market has the virtue of economizing agreement and consensus. The existence of public goods necessitates government. Peace, justice, and freedom are unlikely to be achieved without competence, which fortunately can be learned.
Kenneth E. Boulding is distinguished professor of economics, emeritus, and project director and research associate, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0484.
Theology for a Nuclear Age by Gordon D. Kaufman, reviewed by Ian G. Barbour