Religion Past and Present

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Ethology of Religion
(724 words)

[German Version]

is a relatively new subdiscipline of religious studies that examines the anthropological bases of religious behavior from a biological perspective. Its cornerstone was laid by Julian Huxley in 1914 when (following the lead of C.R. Darwin) he compared the courtship behavior of great crested grebes with human ceremonies and developed a theory of ritualization, i.e. of the origins of formalized communicative behavior (see also Rite and Ritual: I). The possibility that the biological model could be applied to various topics in the humanities and cultural studies was t…

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Baudy, Dorothea, “Ethology of Religion”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 14 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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