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.


The presence of sovereign kinship organization will be associated with a belief in active ancestral spirits (94).


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Chi squareNot SupportedNot SignificantUNKNOWNUNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Belief In Active Ancestral SpiritsIndependentEschatology, Spirits And Gods
Sovereign Kinship OrganizationDependentKin Groups

Related Hypotheses

Main AuthorHypothesis
Swanson, Guy E."There is a positive and significant relationship between the presence in a society of sovereign kinship groups other than the nuclear family and a belief that ancestral spirits are active in human affairs" (108)
Rudmin, Floyd WebsterCertain characteristics of societies will be significantly correlated in the same direction with both Swanson's (1966) and Murdock's (1967) measures of private property ownership.
Alford, RichardTaboos on using the name of the deceased will be positively associated with name uniqueness, and negatively associated with belief in reincarnation, ancestor worship, societal size, and societal complexity (114).
Peoples, Hervey C.Evolution of high gods and active high gods will be positively associated with the evolution of other ancestral hunter-gatherer religious characteristics (274).
Swanson, Guy E."Cumulative scores which combine the number of sovereign groups in a society with the presence of unlegitimezed contacts, the size of the units of settlement, and the presence of sovereign kinship groups are related . . . to indicators of a belief in the immanence of the soul" (135-136)