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The Evolution of God


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About the Author

Robert Wright is a contributing editor of The New Republic, a columnist, and a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the cofounder of, runs the web-based video project, and lives in Princeton, NJ, with his wife and two daughters.


Wright's brief reveals why religious and scientific beliefs do not have to be mutually exclusive. While his history of monotheistic religions is accessible, if not illuminating, his game theory approach to God and religious coexistence and harmony is dense and difficult to process aurally. Arthur Morey delivers a flat and monotonous reading. While he does inflect, his projection lacks the emphasis and energy to sustain listeners through all 19 hours of this production. A Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, May 11). (July) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"An original, accessible and thought-provoking view of history...full of rich detail, ingenious insight and bold argument."--The Economist
"THE EVOLUTION OF GOD gives me hope...The tone of the book is dry skepticism with a dash of humour; the content is supple, dense and layered...fresh and necessary."
--Andrew Sullivan, The Times

While the diatribes of the "new atheists"-Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and company-have made headlines in recent years, Wright (The Moral Animal, Nonzero) takes a decidedly more friendly approach to human religiousness. Although he shares their materialist, naturalist assumptions, he argues that over time human notions of God have "gotten closer to moral and spiritual truth..Religion hasn't just evolved, it has matured." Making the best recent scholarship accessible to the general reader, Wright follows the historical trajectory from polytheism through monolatry (worship of one god among many) to monotheism, focusing primarily on the evolving vision of God in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur'an, and ending with a discussion of religion's place in human evolution. In his focus on scriptures, Wright avoids the philosophical terrain covered more intently in Karen Armstrong's The History of God and The Great Transformation. Verdict Wright's approach will appeal to a broad range of readers turned off by the "either/or" choice between dogmatic atheism and religious traditionalism. Recommended for all readers engaged in consideration of our notions of God.-Steve Young, McHenry Cty. Coll., Crystal Lake, IL Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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