Religion’s Impact On Human Life: Integrating Proximate And Ultimate Perspectives

Religion’s impact on human life is contentious. Does religion make us more moral? Is it responsible for the development of civilisation? What is the effect of religion on creativity and innovation, and its relationship to ‘human nature’? Answering such questions will benefit both our theoretical understanding of ourselves as a species and our practical understanding of factors influencing generosity and tolerance.

There have been problems with evaluating the impact of religion on human life in the past, including conceptual difficulties with the term ‘religion’ and a lack of cross-cultural research. This project aims to overcome these problems, and integrate interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and longitudinal research into the study of religion’s impact.

This is a three year project that brings together anthropologists, psychologists, and others from across the globe and is funded by the John Templeton Foundation.