For Tricycle, an independent Buddhist publication, Linda Heuman reviews Robert Bellah’s Religion in Human Evolution, highlighting the place Bellah gives to reason in the book:
Employing the tools of history and science, Bellah simultaneously undermines our unexamined confidence in the absolute authority of reason and increases our confidence in other kinds of truth. By putting the rise of theoretic culture in the context of earlier periods of cultural history, he exposes both the historical contingency of rational knowing and its indebtedness to, and grounding in, its genealogical predecessors. Then he demonstrates that even in an individual, the ability to think abstractly comes only after enactive and symbolic knowledge give us something to think abstractly about; in this view of human development, we are first embodied knowers, then storytellers, and only then analytic thinkers. Reason comes not first but last—it is the newest member of an established team, not the captain but a co-player.
Read the full review here.