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Afterword: What Is History?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter justifies the claim that everything is history. If everything is history (including the claim that everything is history), history can never be avoided. Even forgetting, neglecting or censoring history is history! And where that happens, following Christiano, knowledge lives on a dead-end street. The argument ventures into the contemporary theory of evolution using the bedrock of Darwinian theory - descent with modification - to describe history. By the end of the day (hopefully) a frame will have emerged that enables us to see our work in the sociology of religion as a unity of differences where each way of producing knowledge (qualitative, quantitative, theoretical, historical, etc.) has its own integrity, but none is able to tell the whole story about what religion is and does on the human passage through time.

Keywords: biological evolution; Darwinian evolutionary theory; Kevin Christiano; Marion Blute; sociocultural evolution



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