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Lec 8 Outline of World Religious History

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University of Toronto St. George
Joseph Bryant

SOC250Y1Lecture 8November 3 2010Outline of World Religious HistoryMake use of textbook Chapter 23Phase One Prehistory the time before writing emergence of our speciesVery important phase because question of whether religion is intrinsic to the human condition do we find evidence of religion at the same time we find emergence of homo sapiens our speciesPalaeolithic Era c 25 million years to c 10000 BCE o This period means old stone age then scholars would come up with middle and other eraso Much of this period is about the emergence of our species human evolutionHuman evolution australopithecines 4 million years Before the Presenthomo habilis handyskilled 25 million years BPerectusstanding up developing bipedalism brain enlargement declining sexual dimorphism in body size limb proportions jaw teeth lips tongue etc Tools language huntinggathering this is what we become after human evolution Homo sapiens from c 250000 BCEout of Africa thesis that is the earliest homo sapiens emerge in Africa and big migration move to other continents specifically into Eurasia then across barrings into Alaska and down to North and South Americao Key developments we become increasingly bipedal emergence of homo sapiens more erect posture increased brain jaw declines etc all biological developments change nature of humans and move us in the direction of more and more of a culturebased animalo Importance of complex speech to our species which is only possible if we have flexibility in vocal region and if brain capacity increases which develops complexity of thought o Many animals have vocal capabilities form of speech communication possible but none approximate the tremendous possibility of human speechthat will be quantitatively and qualitatively differentMesolithic Era c 10000 to 7000nomadismhomo sapiens moving into village life and grain cultivation done in conjunction with hunting and gathering but the critical turning point is the following Neolithic Era c 7000 to 3500settled agriculture domestication of plants and animals pottery wheeled carts first major towns Catalhoyuk Jericho etc This is when human populations actually settle down agriculture dominates over hunting and gathering We plant seeds and control food supply do that with animal species domesticating animals like in the canine species dogs who became partners in hunting guard dogs but then we domesticated cattle engage in animal husbandry take care of
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