New review paper on the Belief in God
Brett Mercier, Stephanie Kramer and Azim Shariff have a new paper out in Current Directions in Psychological Science that succinctly reviews the psychology literature on why people believe in God–and why some people don’t.
The paper is available here, and the abstract is pasted below:
Belief in a god or gods is a central feature in the lives of billions of people and a topic of perennial interest within psychology. However, research over the past half decade has achieved a new level of understanding regarding both the ultimate and proximate causes of belief in God. Ultimate causes—the evolutionary influences on a trait—shed light on the adaptive value of belief in God and the reasons why a tendency toward this belief exists in humans. Proximate causes—the immediate influences on the expression of a trait—explain variation and changes in belief. We review this research and discuss remaining barriers to a fuller understanding of belief in God.