I have noticed that most modern history is driven to something like sophistry, first to soften the sharp transition from animals to men, and then to soften the sharp transition from heathens to Christians. Now the more we really read in a realistic spirit of those two transitions the sharper we shall find them to be.
-G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man, p.7
For those looking to sharpen the first line (between animal and man) some of the proponents of intelligent design (though frequently attacked) have some excellent material.
For the second, anthropological line, nothing sharpens Rene Girard.