Moralizing religions and puritanical moralities

Moralizing religions are religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism or the Chinese and Japanese folk religions in which supernatural agents care about morality and are concerned with reforming individuals. Why do these kind of religions appear so late in human history? Why are they invariably associated with puritanical values, praising chastity, temperance, and piety and condemning the immoderate enjoyment of sensual pleasures (e.g., gluttony, lust, drinking, drugs)? And why are they disappearing today in high income societies?

Jan Mandyn (1500-1560), Christ in front of the gates of Hell.

Fitouchi, L., André, JB., Baumard, N. (in review) Moral disciplining: the cognitive and evolutionary foundations of puritanical morality

Baumard, N., Huillery, E. and Zabrocki, L. (in review) The Economic Origins of Ascetic Values : Evidence from Medieval Europe

Léo Fitouchi, Jean-Baptiste André & Nicolas Baumard (2022) From supernatural punishment to big gods to puritanical religions: clarifying explanatory targets in the rise of moralizing religions, Religion, Brain & Behavior,

Fitouchi, L., André, JB, and Baumard, N. (2021) The intertwined cultural evolution of ascetic spiritualities and puritanical religions as technologies of self-discipline, Religion, Brain & Behavior

Jacquet, P.O., Pazhoohi, F., Findling C., Mell, H., Chevallier, C., Baumard, N. (2021) Predictive multivariate modelling of religiosity in 295 000 individuals from WEIRD and non-WEIRD populations, Humanities and Social Sciences Communications

Boyer, P. & Baumard, N., (2017) Cognitive attractors in the evolution and diffusion of religious representations in Luther Martin and Don Wiebe (Eds.) Religion Explained: The Cognitive Science of Religion Twenty-Five Years On

Boyer, P. & Baumard, N., (2017) The diversity of religious systems: An evolutionary and cognitive framework, in Liddle and Shackelford (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Religion

Baumard, N. (2016) The Origins of Fairness : How Evolution Explains our Human Nature, Oxford University Press, Oxford(translation of Comment nous sommes devenus moraux : Une histoire naturelle du bien et du mal, Odile Jacob, Paris, 2010)

Baumard, N. (2016) Why are religions so judgemental? Ask evolution, New Scientist, 230(3071), 34-35.

Baumard, N., & Chevallier, C. (2015). The nature and dynamics of world religions: a life-history approach. In Proc. R. Soc. B (Vol. 282, No. 1818, p. 20151593). The Royal Society.

Baumard, N., Hyafil, A., Boyer, p. (2015) What Changed During the Axial Age: Cognitive Styles or Reward Systems?, Communicative and Integrative Biology. 8(5).

Baumard, N., Hyafil, A. Morris, I., and Boyer, P., (2015) Increased affluence explains the emergence of ascetic wisdoms and moralizing religions. Current Biology, 25(1), 10-15. (See press coverage in Science)

Baumard, N. & Boyer, P. (2014) Empirical problems with the notions of “big gods” and of prosociality in large societies (Commentary on ‘Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict’ by Ara Norenzayan), Religion, Brain and Behavior.

Baumard, N. & Boyer, P., (2013) Explaining Moral Religions, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17 (6) pp. 172 – 180.

Baumard, N. & Boyer, P., (2013) Religious Beliefs as Reflective Elaborations: A Modified Dual-Process Model, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22.4 (2013): 295-300.

Baumard, N. & Chevallier, C. (2012) What goes around comes around: The evolutionary roots of the belief in immanent justice, Journal of Cognition and Culture.