Explaining the rise of moralizing religions: a test of competing hypotheses using the Seshat Databank

Religion, Brain & Behavior Vol/Iss. 13(2) Taylor & Francis Group Published In Pages: 167-194
By Turchin, Peter, Whitehouse, Harvey, Larson, Jennifer, Cioni, Enrico, Reddish, Jenny, Hoyer, Daniel, Savage, Patrick E., Covey, Alan, Baines, John, Altaweel, Mark, Anderson, Eugene, Bol, Peter, Brandl, Eva, Carballo, David M., Feinman, Gary M., Korotayev, Andrey V., Kradin, Nikolay, Levine, Jill D., Nugent, Selin E., Squitieri, Andrea, Wallace, Vesna, François, Pieter


The rise of moralizing religions will be related to military competition between societies.


The results show that warfare (cavalry and high technology) is a predictor of moralizing religions. There are two relevant variables within military competition: the development of military technologies and the spread of cavalry. The first t value is for the first variable, and the second t value is for the second variable.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Dynamic regression analysesSupportedp < .001 (cavalry) / p < .05 (military technology)UNKNOWNUNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Moralizing religionsDependentSpirits And Gods
Development of military technologiesIndependentWarfare
Spread of cavalryIndependentWarfare