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In the following review article, we aim to summarize the current research progress in the field of evolutionary and behavior genetics studies on human religiousness and religious behavior. First, we provide a brief (and thus incomplete) overview of the historical discussions and explain the genetic basis of behavior in general and religious behavior in particular, from twin studies to molecular data analysis. In the second part of the paper, we discuss the potential evolutionary forces leading to human religiousness and human religious behavior, emphasizing the emergence of “axial age” and the so called “big gods” in the relatively recent history of humans.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society