Natural or individual belief in God is present in all human cultures. Religion’s function as a social glue seems to benefit from a combination of promises of future joys and the threat of upcoming afflictions. At the same time, we should be vigilant so that the secular foundations of our societies are not weakened.
Everywhere you go in the world, you meet people with more or less detailed ideas that somewhere there are one or more gods who are behind both their own and their group's successes and setbacks. These ‘otherworldly’ forces usually require certain rituals and offerings to let their sun of grace shine upon their followers, but not on their enemies. Behind all that happens – both good and bad – the faithful see divine intervention. The intermediaries between them and their gods – usually a shaman, pastor, imam or other pardoned individual, almost always a man – explain why something has gone wrong, when...
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Professor emeritus i ekologisk zoologi.