Recent Publications


Rossano, M. J. (2015). Seeking perfection: A modern dialogue about the mind, the soul, and what it means to be human. Piscataway, N. J.: Transaction Publishers. more info

Rossano, M.J. (2013) Mortal rituals: What the story of the Andes survivors tells us about human evolution. New York: Columbia University Press. more info

Rossano, M.J. (2010). Supernatural selection: How religion evolved. New York: Oxford University Press. more info
new scientist review other reviews

Rossano, M.J. (2002). Evolutionary Psychology: The Science of Human Behavior and Evolution. New York: John Wiley & Sons for more see

Book chapters:

Rossano, M. J. & Vandewalle, B. (2016). Belief, ritual, and the evolution of religion. In J. R. Liddle & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology and Religion (pp. xx-xx). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pdf available

Rossano, M.J. (2015). Sound and fury signifying nothing. In L. H. Martin & D. Wiebe (Eds.). Conversations and controversies in the scientific study of religion (pp. 163-168). Boston: Brill. pdf

Rossano, M.J. (2011). Setting our own terms: How we used ritual to become human. In H. Walach, S. Schmidt, & W. B. Jonas (Eds.). Neuroscience, consciousness and spirituality (pp. 39-56). New York: Springer. pdf available

Rossano, M.J. (2010). Harnessing the placebo effect: Religion as a cultural adaptation. In U. Frey (Ed.), The nature of God: Evolution and religion (pp. 111-128). Berlin: Tectum-Verlag. pdf available

Rossano, M.J. (2009). The archaeology of consciousness. In S. de Beaune, F. L. Coolidge, & T. Wynn (Eds.), Cognitive archaeology and human evolution (pp. 25-36). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pdf available

Rossano, M.J. (2009). The African Interregnum: The ‘where,’ ‘when,’ and ‘why,’ of the evolution of religion. In E. Voland & W. Schiefenhövel (Eds.) The Biological Evolution of Religious Mind and Behaviour (pp. 127-141). Berlin: Springer-Verlag. pdf available


Rossano, M. J. (2015). The evolutionary emergence of costly rituals. PaleoAnthropology, 2015, 78-100. pdf

Rossano, M. J. (2015). The ritual origins of humanity. Interdisziplinäre Anthropologie, 3, 3-25. (target article with commentaries and reply)

Rossano, M.J. (2012). The essential role of ritual in the transmission and reinforcement of social norms. Psychological Bulletin, 138, 529-549. pdf of page proofs available

Rossano, M.J. (2010). How our ancestors raised children to think as modern humans. Biological Theory. 5, 142–153. page proofs available

Rossano, M.J. (2010). Making friends, making tools, and making symbols. Current Anthropology, 51, S89-S98 (special issue on working memory:

beyond language and symbolism) page proofs available

Rossano, M.J. (2009). Ritual behaviour and the origins of modern cognition. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 19, 243–56 pdf available

Rossano, M.J. (2008). The moral faculty: Does religion promote 'moral expertise?' The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 18, 169-194 pdf avialable.

Rossano, M.J. (2007c). Supernaturalizing social life: Religion and the evolution of human cooperation. Human Nature 18, 272-294. pdf of proofs available

Rossano, M.J. (2007b). On not leaving your brain at the church house door: Religion on which the devout and skeptic can agree. Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. 42, 301-315. pdf available

Rossano, M.J. (2007a). Did meditating make us human? Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 17, 47-58 pdf available

Rossano, M.J. (2006). The religious mind and the evolution of religion. Review of General Psychology. 10, 346-364 pdf available

Rossano, M.J. (2005). Pursuing consciousness by studying expertise (invited article). International Journal of Computational Cognition, 3, 1-13. pdf available

Rossano, M.J. (2003). Expertise and the evolution of consciousness. Cognition, 89, 207-236. pdf of page proofs available

Rossano, M.J. (2001). Artificial intelligence, religion, and community concern. Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, 36, 57-75. pdf available

Rossano, M. J., West, S.O., Robertson, T. J., Wayne, M.C., & Chase, R. B. (1999). The acquisition of route and survey knowledge from computer models. Journal of Environmental Psycholgy, 19, 101-115 pdf available

Rossano, M.J. & Reardon, W.P. (1999). Goal specificity and the acquisition of survey knowledge. Environment and Behavior, 31, 395-412. pdf available


Rossano, M. J. & LeBlanc, A. (2017). Why add the supernatural? Comment on essays addressing Hilbert Problems in the Study of Religion. Religion, Brain and Behavior. avaiable online: pdf available

Rossano, M. J. (2015). Art as materialized and embodied ritual. Comment on Anthony Lock's Evolution, aesthestics, the inter-relationship between viewer and artist, and New Zealandism.  ASEBL Journal, 11, 2-55 target article and commentaries
Rossano, M.J. (2014). Sound and fury signifying nothing (comment on Pro- and assortative-sociality in the formation and maintenance of religious groups by Luther H. Martin and Donald Wiebe). Journald for the Cognitive Science of Religion, 2, 1-57 pdf of page proofs article and comment

Rossano, M.J. (2012). Ritually faking belief (commentary on target article "What are atheists for?" by Dominic Johnson). Religion, Brain, and Behavior, 2, 81-83. pdf available (target article and other commentaries included).

Rossano, M.J. (2011). Cognitive control: Social evolution and emotional regulation. Topics in Cognitive Science, 3, 238-241. pdf of page proofs available

Rossano, M.J. (2010) Cautiously digging up the mind (Review of Cognitive Archaeology and The Rise of Homo Sapiens), Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 20, 1-3. pdf of review

Rossano, M.J. (2009). Does biology matter? Deliberation Knowledge Ethics (Erwagen Wissen Ethik), 20, 224-225. In response to Foerst, A. Robots and theology 181-193 pdf article and response (note: first page blank)

Talk on evolution of ritual and religion, University of Toronto, 2014

Ritually shaping the imagination: humanity in four acts

Essay from 52-insights website

How rituals made humans what they are today

Interview on "Young Turks" radio show on suicide bombers and book

Huffington Post Science & Religion Blogs

Religion through the lense of religionship (originally titled: Imagining John, Yoko, and religion too)
Religion is not delusion (orginally titled: Is religion delusional?)
Religion does not equal war (orginally titled: Gods of war)
St. Augustine: A role model for intelligent faith (originally titled: Christians aren't supposed to be stupid)
Would evidence for God mean the end of both atheism and Christianity? (originally titled: Evidence of God)
Religion and the perfection of love
How the myth of the flat earth dogma started a science and religion war (originally titled: starting a war with a flat earth)
The surprising effect of religious devotion on suicide attacks (originally titled: dying for the group)
Thomas Aquinas: Saint of evolutionary psychologists? (originally titled: Thomas Aquinas evolutionary psychologist?)
Who is may neighbor? The best and worst of religious morality
Fear of death, joy of life and the origins of God
Sacred Brands: Consummerism as modern religion
Why the birthplace of Jesus matters
Alexander Hamilton's religion
The Pope, the environment, and religiously-inspired self-restraint
Jesus the placebo healer
The theological dilemma raised by Medieval neuroscience
God and the marketplace
Whom can I trust: The role of religion in sustaining community
Why was Jesus crucified?
Does Resurrection contradict science?
Can you be good withough God?
The Christian Revolution
How to make a strong atheist
The (lack of) conflict between science and religion among college students
Evolution: Is God just playing dice
Did secular morality shame religion into condemning slavery?
The Galileo Affair: Emblematic or exceptional?
Are infinities more scientific than God?
Should evolutionists be more self-critical about social Darwinism?
Creationism: That (not so) old time religion