The birth of the gods revisited: a partial replication of guy swanson's (1960) cross-cultural study of religion

Cross-Cultural Research Published In Pages: 84-112
By Peregrine, Peter N.


This article retests several hypotheses from Swanson’s (1960) study on the origins of religious belief. The author finds support for an association between high gods and large communities, multiple levels of political hierarchy, and social differentiation. No support is found for Swanson’s other hypotheses concerning polytheism, ancestral spirits, reincarnation, the soul, witchcraft, and morality and their relations to social, political, and economic variables.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
OtherCombinationEncyclopedia of World Cultures, Volume 1: North America. All societies in the sample are Native American.

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:Kate Cummings Amelia Piazza