Religion and the origins of civilization: The conversation continues
In a recent article here — “Rewriting the history of religion, civilization, and the human mind” — I talked about the article/essay in the June issue of National Geographic that details the discovery of Göbekli Tepe, a temple complex in southern Turkey that promises to overturn commonly accepted notions about the role of religion and human consciousness in the origins of civilization. I also philosophized a bit about the synchronicitous resonance between this discovery and the new age of neuroscientific investigation into the origins of consciousness that kicked off in the 1990s, right around the time Göbekli Tepe was discovered.
Now the conversation continues: Electric Politics has just published an interview with Charles C. Mann, the author of the NG article. It’s available as a 39-minute podcast that’s both downloadable and streamable. Here’s the teaser/description:
At what point does an original idea engender action? And to what extent does that action set a lasting course? We can examine the social history of an idea, written, as it were, in stone, at Göbekli Tepe, an archeological site approximately 11,500 years old (or perhaps even older) in southern Turkey. Before the invention of agriculture, before pottery, hunter-gatherers in a collective effort raised enormous, spectacularly carved megaliths for mysterious ceremonial purposes. What an incredible story! To tell it I turned to Charles C. Mann, whose essay in this month’s National Geographic is a must read.