Axial Age. Robert Bellah “Religion in Human Evolution”

Introduction- 2 Paragraphs Is the axial age and convergence and the basic motives for presenting the Question ( Is there a noticeable gap be tween Robert Bellah’s evolutionary framework and his case studies of individual religions- So update the evolutionary theory. Secondly outline your position on the axial age. in terms of Bellah’s metanarrative possibilities (discovery vs invention ) you must reject the overall thesis of the axial age, accept it in number of qualified ways, or accept it as Bellah presents it. and you may do any any of the thse from variety of metaphysical standpoints (Materialism, emergence, religious naturalism, or by affirming one of the axial traditions or their outgrowth as true.) In short describe the standpoint from which you plan to evaluate the book as whole making clear why your option is the strongest The Arguments- 2 pages Outline the arguments of the book and the tensions between them. That is trace what i have called the implicit, explicit and executed arguments. focus here on the conflicts between Robert Bellahs large development scheme and the framework of evolutionary emergence. Briefly evaluate each argument for their strengths and weaknesses (the Metaphysical developmental scheme vs emergence ) and Mention some of the consequences, especially in the main chapters on the axial age. Revising the Framework- 2 1/2 pages Consider how one might revise Bellah’s methodological framework. Here there are number of options. You might opt for a more Darwinian (materialist) view of evolution, choose either Bellahs weak emergence (explicit argument) or his developmental scheme, or finally rework the developmental scheme with the concept of convergence in mind. Briefly sketch these options, explaining their strengths and weaknesses and then describe in more detail the one you find the strongest. Remember this must cohere with the metanarrative you outline in the introduction. Interpreting Religious Evolution- 2 pages Finally, extend your analysis to the actual history of religions as developed by Bellah. Choose one of the Axial breakthroughs given by Bellah either India, Israel, Greek or China and she if there is an axial break through as Bellah suggest.

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