Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by Green College, Human Evolution, Cognition and Culture: The Evolution of Religion, Morality and Cooperation lecture series. Religion and spirituality are often discussed as “big” philosophical and scientific questions, but they also need to be understood in the context of everyday life.

The small city of Binghamton, New York, includes almost 100 religious congregations, along with many non-churchgoers with their own religious/spiritual/secular beliefs. The city can be studied as a “cultural ecosystem” using the same theories and methods that are used to study biological ecosystems. This approach to religion and spirituality can be employed at other geographical locations and provides a new perspective on the “big” philosophical and scientific questions. David Sloan Wilson is Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University.