Media focus on Professor Dominic Johnson's recent book

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    Photo of 'The Great Day of His Wrath', painted by John Martin (c.1853)

Dominic Johnson has made many appearances in the media in the last month, in which his book 'God Is Watching You: How the Fear of God Makes Us Human' has been discussed or reviewed in the New Statesman (20 January), Newstalk Radio (20 January), the Economist (23 January), Premier Christian Radio (30 January), BBC Radio 4's 'Sunday' programme (31 January), BBC Radio Scotland's 'Sunday Morning With...' programme, (31 January), BBC Radio Oxford's Charles Nove programme, The Independent (10 February), the New Scientist (10 February), the Los Angeles Times (10 February), ABC Australia (10 February) and the Daily Express (11 February).

The Economist's review of the book says, "Mr Johnson’s own research into 186 preindustrial cultures found that moralising religious beliefs were more prevalent in larger and more complex societies; these were more likely to be policed, use money and pay taxes."

It adds, "Mr Johnson does not seem a pious man himself. But unlike atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, he is not out to embarrass religious belief and chase its subscribers from the public square. The religious instinct is too deep-seated, he thinks. Instead, critics of superstition are best advised to work with the grain of human psychology rather than against it, finding more benevolent ways to satisfy human yearning for something “out there”."

Professor Dominic Johnson is Alastair Buchan Chair of International Relations, Director of Research