This work takes a serious look at social scientific explanations for the persistence of religion. Psychologist, Robert Hinde, offers a major study from the perspective of both the social and the biological sciences on the role of religion in human society. He explores why religions have played such a major role in the lives of individuals and in the integration of societies, and probes why it is that if most basic religious beliefs are clearly incompatible with modern scientific knowledge, the majority of people in western countries still see themselves as believers. He demonstrates that answers to these sorts of questions are the ultimate challenge to Darwinism. The text seeks to tackle a complex problem in a straightforward way which students should find understandable. Hinde provides chapter summaries, multiple sections within each chapter, and draws from examples from a wide range of religions. The text offers a holistic approach to understanding the persistence of religion, our relationship and behaviour to religion, and evolutionary theory.