Empirical studies on the evolution of religiosity and religions have been thriving these last years. These days, Springer's "Frontiers Collection" set a new standard. The Biological Evolution of Religious Mind and Behavior (BERMB) is rooted in the international Delmenhorst-conference on "The Biology of Religion" and has been expanded by contributions from other scholars. It is offering a broad picture of studies and models at the forefront of this scientifc field, which is tending toward interdisciplinary consesus on many subjects in surprisingly short time.
1 Introduction by Wulf Schiefenhövel and Eckart Voland
3 Gods, Gains, and Genes by Rüdiger Vaas
4 How Some Major Components of Religion Could Have Evolved by Natural Selection? by Jay R. Feierman
5 The Correlated History of Social Organization, Morality, and Religion by David C. Lahti
6 Is There a Particular Role for Ideational Aspects of Religions in Human Behavioral Ecology by Jürgen Kunz
7 Talk and Tradition: Why the Least Interesting Components of Religion May Be the Most Evolutionarily Important by Craig T. Palmer, Ryan M. Ellsworth, and Lyle B. Steadman
8 The Reproductive Benefits of Religious Affiliation by Michael Blume
9 The African Interregnum: The “Where,” “When,” and “Why” of the Evolution of Religion by Matt Rossano
10 Explaining the Inexplicable: Traditional and Syncretistic Religiosity in Melanesia by Wulf Schiefenhövel
11 Authoritarianism, Religiousness, and Conservatism: Is “Obedience to Authority” the Explanation for Their Clustering, Universality and Evolution? by Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr.
12 Cognitive Foundations in the Development of a Religious Mind by Rebekah A. Richert and Erin I. Smith
13 Religious Belief and Neurocognitive Processes of the Self by Shihui Han
14 Neurologic Constraints on Evolutionary Theories of Religion by Erica Harris and Patrick McNamara
15 On Shared Psychological Mechanisms of Religiousness and Delusional Beliefs by Martin Brüne
16 Cognitive Foundations of Religiosity by Ulrich Frey
17 The Religious System as Adaptive: Cognitive Flexibility, Displays, and Acceptance by Benjamin Grant Purzycki and Richard Sosis
18 The Evolution of Evolutionary Theories of Religion by Wolfgang Achtner
19 Evolutionary Perspectives on Religion – What They Can and What They Cannot Explain (Yet) by Detlef Fetchenhauer
Reviews and debates about the empirical findings have already started - see i.e. Tom Rees (EpiphenomenA) with: Why do atheists have fewer kids?
As BERMB is a quality collection in smaller numbers, I'd say that working with it is a way to literally join the "frontiers" of this new and thriving field. Hoping to meet you there!