Featured

New study: Religion has been dividing and tearing down society for the last 2,000 years

According to the anthropological evidence, elites often dominated religious life and controlled the connection between the community and the gods. The religious elites were often in conflict with community leaders.

According to a new anthropological study, religion has divided human society for over 2,000 years. The new study contradicts the earlier belief that religion helped unite early societies and form civilizations.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado and the University of Central Florida, and looked at Mexican archeological sites that dated back to 700BC.

The sites allowed researchers to study ancient culture between 700BCE and 250CE. The researchers also found evidence that questions religion’s powers to bond small communities. According to the anthropological evidence, elites often dominated religious life and controlled the connection between the community and the gods. The religious elites were often in conflict with community leaders.

The civilizations thrived for a brief period of time and formed a regional state. In the lower Rio Verde valley, the ancient society formed a regional state with a capital at the hilltop city of Monte Albán. However, the religious conflict quickly tore the society apart. Many temples were built around 100AD, and were abandoned a century later after religious conflict erupted.

“In both the Valley of Oaxaca and the Lower Río Verde Valley, religion was important in the formation and history of early cities and states, but in vastly different ways,” said Arthur Joyce, a professor at the University of Colorado and one of the project’s main researchers. “Given the role of religion in social life and politics today, that shouldn’t be too surprising.”

Featured image via Flickr

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Religion has been dividing and tearing down society for the last 2,000 years, according to new anthropological study of Mexican ruins. | On Reddit

  2. Avatar

    serenevoice

    December 22, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Would you please link the study?

  3. Avatar

    Aaron

    December 22, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Three points. First, this study involves a single locus and absolutely nothing can be generalized from it beyond that single locus. Second, archeological interpretation beyond the physical evidence is notoriously subjective. Third, “early societies” should refer to societies dating from 10 to 4 thousand years ago. The period discussed here is much too recent to warrant the headline it received. These are all archaeological quibbles, not theological ones.

  4. Avatar

    Tom Moe

    December 23, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Religion tears down society like Martin Luther King, Jr., women’s rights issues, gay rights issues, education for all issues. Yeah, that religion has just been awful. Lol

  5. Avatar

    Michael Vinson

    December 24, 2015 at 5:20 am

    There was a study needed to figure this out? DOH!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

To Top