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In the Beginning God: A Fresh Look at the Case for Original Monotheism

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  18 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
 Christians believe that religion began when God created human beings and revealed himself to them. But is there scholarly evidence for this belief?

In the nineteenth century academic world a stormy debate took shape over the origin of religion. Scholars explored the ancient languages of mythology and then considered evolutionary anthropology. A dominant view emerg
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Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 15th 2013 by B&H Academic (first published August 15th 2013)
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Blake Reas
Nov 15, 2013 Blake Reas rated it it was amazing
Excellent work on the Origins of Monotheism. Corduan builds on the work of Schmidt who argued that Monotheism was the most primitive religious belief in human history. Corduan debunks the common approaches to Religious ethnography by showing that it is indeed possible through using the cultural-historical method of anthropology. If you think that it is improbable that evolutionary accounts of religions are wrong, then you need to read this book.
Tintinrulz
Apr 26, 2016 Tintinrulz rated it really liked it
"In the Beginning God: A Fresh Look at the Case for Original Monotheism" by Winfried Corduan is just that, a long-overdue reexamination concerning the study of the history of religion and the evidence for monotheism (the recognition and worship of one God) being the first religion. This book primarily focuses on the so-called 'primitive' world cultures.

With evolutionary teachings becoming the mainstream, scholars argued that religion evolved from something simple to something complex, beginning
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Todd Miles
Oct 08, 2013 Todd Miles rated it really liked it
Shelves: apologetics, science
Corduan, in a surprisingly engaging book, chronicles a 19th century debate among sociologists regarding whether the evidence indicated that human societies were originally monotheistic that devolved to animistic/pluralistic, or vice-versa. The evidence, Corduan compellingly argues, is to the former. Readers may not be familiar with any of the names with which Corduan interacts (unless you are a sociology/anthropology student), but you will come to recognize that, as in many things scientific, ...more
David Haines
May 04, 2014 David Haines rated it it was amazing
This is a very cautious and in depth look at the theory, in the history of religion, that the original religion of humanity was Monotheism (which was corrupted over time into animism, polytheism, etc.). I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it. My full review will be published on my blog later this week.
Rick
Jun 27, 2016 Rick rated it really liked it
A bit hard to follow at points if you're not an anthropologist or ethnologist, but he does a pretty good job of making it comprehensible for us common folk. He also is considerate enough to mark the really technical stuff with an asterisk so you can skip it if you want. (But he encourages you to read it anyway, because he figures you'll get something out of it, even if you don't understand everything.) Essentially he revisits the arguments of Schmidt and Lang regarding the evidence that the most ...more
Robert Terry
May 11, 2016 Robert Terry rated it really liked it
Fascinating historical overview of 19th century scholarship on the origins of religion culminating with Wilhelm Schmidt's understanding of original monotheism as the oldest source of the world's religions. Strangely, modern religious scholars have abandoned the quest.
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