Favors the evolution of religious populations

Barbarians, ghosts, god warriors

A new look at the development of religions

This book is about the evolution of religions, i.e. the question of how and why religions change in the course of their historical development and what principles these changes are based on. The author begins by describing how the concept of evolution gained a foothold in both biology and the humanities. This was a time of idiosyncratic protagonists and exciting controversies that vividly emerge before the reader's eye. The book then examines the question of what evolution actually means in the field of religion and which factors control this religious evolution. What adaptive value do religions have? How do religions split up and develop with increasing independence? Is there such a thing as an inheritance, a tribal history and a system of religions, similar to the structure of thought that the biological theory of evolution has designed for the development of the world of organisms?

At the end of this courageous book there is not only a reliable theory of religious evolution, but it also becomes clear which environmental and social factors control the development of religions today. In a world in which the religious seems to be returning with power, this work should also contribute to a more differentiated view of the diversity and unity of religions.

The author

Ina Wunn is Professor of Religious Studies at the Leibniz University in Hanover. The biologist and religious scholar is particularly interested in the origin and evolution of religions.


Religion Evolution Theory of Evolution Development Religious Evolution History of Religion God Gods State of God Faith Humanities Social Sciences

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1. Faculty of PhilosophyLeibniz Universit├Ąt HannoverHannoverGermany

About the authors

Ina Wunn studied geology, biology and religious studies in Marburg and Hanover. In 1985 and again in 1999, Wunn received her doctorate first at the Philipps University in Marburg, then at the Leibniz University in Hanover and began teaching in 1995. In 2002 she completed her habilitation at the University of Hanover on the subject of "Evolution of Religions". Ina Wunn has been Professor of Religious Studies at Leibniz University Hannover since 2005. In 2014 she published the successful non-fiction book together with Patrick Urban and Constantin Klein Gods - Genes - Genesis.

Bibliographic information