Religion is one of the most powerful forces running through humanhistory, and although often presented as a force for good, itsimpact is frequently violent and divisive. This provocative workbrings together cutting-edge research from both evolutionary andcognitive psychology to help readers understand the psychologicalstructure of religious morality and the origins of religiousviolence. * Introduces a fundamentally new approach to the analysis ofreligion in a style accessible to the general reader * Applies insights from evolutionary and cognitive psychology toboth Judaism and Christianity, and their texts, to help understandthe origins of religious violence * Argues that religious violence is grounded in the moralpsychology of religion * Illustrates its controversial argument with reference to the9/11 terrorist attacks, and the response to the attacks from boththe terrorists and the President. Suggests strategies for beginningto counter the divisive aspects of religion * Discusses the role of religion and religious criticism in thecontemporary world.
Argues for a position sceptical of the moralauthority of religion, while also critiquing the excesses of the new atheists for failing to appreciate the moralcontributions of religion * Awarded Honourable Mention, 2010 Prose Awards