Even in the ultimate Abrahamic theological refinement – monotheism itself turns out to be a feature of the bible that comes and goes.
Edward Tylor – founder of Social Anthropology.
Early religion: Did what good theories are supposed to do; explain otherwise mysterious facts economically.
Radcliffe-Brown observed that Andaman Islanders were reluctant to awaken people, since illness might ensue if sleep was interrupted before the soul came home.
Human nature has two basic innate mechanisms that incline us to treat people nicely: Kin Selection – evolutionary dynamic that leads us to sacrifice for close relatives. Reciprocal Altruism – leads us to be considerate of friends.
Hunter- gatherer religions don’t consider their beliefs to be a religion. Rituals and beliefs we label as ‘religious’ are so tightly interwoven into their every day thought and action that they don’t even have a word for them.
The general absence of moral sanction in hunter gatherer religion isn’t puzzling. They lived in intimate transparent groups (30-50 people). Wrongdoing was hard to conceal – and this is how we are hard wired to live.