Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol 3, No 4 (2009)

Charismatic Signalling

Joseph Bulbulia


The following describes an evolutionary model for religious cooperation called “synchronous-signaling.” The core motivation for synchronous signaling comes from an appreciation that large-scale cooperation requires a widespread predictability in the cooperative responses of anonymous cohort. The model is based on evidence that elements of religious culture - including its music, dance, postures, prayers, and other regimes – reliably automate cooperation. This automation aligns affective, motivational, and intentional dispositions of anonymous exchange partners toward common cooperative goals. The model also explains why old religions are especially effective at securing cooperative outcomes, among unfamiliar partners.

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DOI: 10.1558/jsrnc.v3i4.518

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