The Evolution of God by Robert Wright


The Evolution of God by Robert Wright
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About the Book


In The Evolution of God, Robert Wright takes us on a sweeping journey through history, unveiling a discovery of crucial importance to the present moment: there is a pattern in the evolution of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and a “hidden code” in their scriptures. Reading these scriptures in light of the circumstances surrounding their creation, Wright reveals the forces that have repeatedly moved the Abrahamic faiths away from belligerence and intolerance to a higher moral plane. And he shows how these forces could today let these faiths reassert their deep proclivity toward harmony and reconciliation. What’s more, his analysis raises the prospect of a second kind of reconciliation: the reconciliation of science and religion.

Using the prisms of archaeology, theology, history, and evolutionary psychology, Wright repeatedly overturns conventional wisdom:

  • Contrary to the belief that Moses brought monotheism to the Middle East, ancient Israel was in fact polytheistic until after the Babylonian exile.
  • Jesus didn’t really say, “Love your enemies,” or extol the good Samaritan. These misquotes were inserted in scripture decades after the crucifixion.
  • Muhammad was neither a militant religious zealot nor a benign spiritual leader but a cool political pragmatist, at one point flirting with polytheism in an attempt to build his coalition.

Wright shows that, however mistaken our traditional ideas about God or gods, their evolution points to a transcendent prospect: that the religious quest is valid, and that a modern, scientific worldview leaves room for something that can meaningfully be called divine.

Vast in ambition and brilliant in execution, The Evolution of God will forever alter our understanding of God and where He came from—and where He and we are going next.




“One World, Under God”
(The Atlantic article)