The evolution of God is probably one of the most interesting books that I have ever listened to. The author describes different gods that have been believed through human history everywhere from the acient Polytheistic religions of Babylon, to the development of the ancient Jewish monotheistic God, and through how the idea of that God has changed throughout the centuries. The book is western God heavy, and does not really jump into the ideas and concepts of god that exist in eastern religions. In other words this is really a history of the Abrahamic god. The main narrative of this book is that the concept of God has changed and evolved throughout the centuries with the implication that this concept of God has gotten closer and closer to the actual God. Personally, i do not think that he is presenting an Atheistic view of God, but perhaps a view that many theists do not have. If this book makes you question your concept of what God is, then perhaps the concept that you had of God was very incorrect... And really what is the likely hood that you ever had a very strong concept of what God is in the first place? Perhaps that cocksure knowledge of God, was really all a long a cover for ignorance? I am sure that many dissertations could be made made on this topic, however this is not a dissertation. This is a book that is meant for a wider audience and therefor is not necessarily to the same standard that an academic paper would. However, I do not think that just because this book is meant for a wider audience means that it doesnt have some profound things to say. I think that this theory should be expanded on further.
I can imagine listening to this again--there is just so much to think about. I loved that Wright offers counter arguments at every turn. If he has an agenda it seems to be religious concord leading to political concord (and a noble purpose that is!). The book is just very very well done.
I listened to this book twice and found new details with each listening that deepen my appreciation for this important work. Give it a try!
"The Evolution of God" is a convincing explanation of how "Homo Sapiens" has come to believe in gods, and then in one god. He quotes (sometimes at great length) anthropolical research and the books of the (now) mono-theistic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to support his thesis, and comes to a surprising, unconventional conclusion about the validity of belief in divinity.
Even the most ardent non-believer can't help but wonder how it is that religious belief is so widespread, has so long been an important part of human culture and takes on such an astonishing variety of forms. And persists in spite of advances in science that undermine many of the early foundations of religion.
Any book that sheds light on these questions and gives us a framework to understand the evolution of religious thought would be a truly worthwhile read, but unfortunately this book isn't it. I see that many other reviewers found it fascinating, but despite being very interested in the topic, I found it very hard slogging and the reward for sticking with it to the bitter end just wasn't there for me.
The author is obviously extremely well versed in the minutiae of religious history, and the breadth of his knowledge is certainly impressive, but that is likely the problem. He is fascinated by the details but the reader easily loses sight of the forest for the trees. Again and again, after pages of story-telling with no discernible context I found myself wanting to ask the author, "And your point is...?" If he had stated a clear thesis for each chapter and then backed it up with the historical data, that might have worked.
The topic of this book would probably make a really interesting one hour lecture. And maybe the book itself would be a good text for a comparative religion course. But for the average reader, even if sympathetic and attentive, I can't recommend spending the 18+ hours it takes to hear it through.
Very good flow and the author keeps you interested.
Very good history of God and the evolution of religious belief. It is amazing what people have and do believe. It has something for everyone.
This book got to be far too long and was, by the end, incredibly boring. His thesis seems straight forward enough: Over time people's experience of God, or what they labeled as "God" has change, and this has led to Western Religious scriptures being full of varied accounts of what/who God is. I can buy into that. In fact, it is not a very "original" thought at all. He puts forward example after example of this and how it works, and after a while, they all tend to run together. He could have made the same point in 1/3 to 1/2 the space and I would have hours of my life back.
I really think that this book has a lot of interesting information, but it is almost killed by the __AWFUL__ narrator, who almost sounds like he is about to fall asleep in parts.
The most astonishing thing about this book, apart from a meticulous attention to facts and strong, diverse sources is that the concept most rejected by religions, particularly the Abrahamic religions, evolution, is the very force that continues to shape and drive it. This is not a book for the dogmatic defenders of long established and often debunked notions of biblical accounts, historical events or even the notion of God as we have come to know it in the cumulative, western societies. Yet, if you’re open to a survey of civilization’s religious evolution, this is the book for you!
This is another one of anti-religious manifesto. However for what it worth, it is overall well researched and well argued book, my only problem with the book has been that the book tries to cover too much, I'd prefer a narrower subject matter and deeper research.