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January 29th

6 Pages

Religious Studies
Course Code
Hisako Omori

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RELIG ST 2WW3- January 29 th Clifford Geertz - Religion: a system of symbols which act t establish powerful, pervasive, and long lasting moods and motivations in people by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic. – from “religion as cultural system” - For an ill person, can use religion to restructure their reality of being ill Healers Shamans - Common type of healer in dif cultures - Can be male or female - Direct access to supernatural realm and spirits: soul flight - Inherited role/chosen- “the shamanic calling” o Initiatory illness  People become ill, then become shaman  If person not born into household of shamans - Can see state of souls that other people cannot see - ASC for communications o Altered states of consciousness o In this state they communicate directly with spirits o Often have an ally spirit that helps them with healing - Specialized discourse o Songs, chants, etc. - Studying shamans o Universal/particular debate  Some think it Is universal and others think when you focus on a particular culture that it is diferent o Focus on ASC  Ignore history and context o Highly romanticized: shaman as hero  Romanticize, westernize, exoticize shaman  Can trivialize the shaman - Sacramental actions o Blowing, massaging, painting, dancing, etc. o Always with good intent - Mastery of spiritual techniques- ability to know, communicate directly with and travel to spirit world - Domestication of spirit helpers - Shamanism in industrialized west o Neo-shamanism, appeared in late 70s o Because of hippie movement, new age thought, self help culture sprung up o May come into conflict with indigenous culture  May leave them feeling belittled, is this ethical? o Michael harner- developed core shamanism  Techniques to achieve ASC  Popular since 1960s  Drugs central to method  But encourages drumming instead Spirit mediums - Like a puppet - As a person disappears into trance, spirits enter the person and speak through this person - Vessel for the spirit, in contrast to shaman who speaks to spirits - Body is used, medium disappears - Spirit heals not the spirit medium - In 1980s, Shirley mclean, made movie out on a limb, in movie a spirit medium becomes possessed by a spirit Priest/priestess/ritualist - Servants of god or gods - May not ever have direct contact with divine - Simply there to serve god and goddesses - Trained in rituals to appease spirits, to help illnesses - Do not have direct connect with spirits, but use prayers and rituals to convey messages to them Holy persons - Health and illness can cure by touch and sight - Not trained as servants to god - Power given by divine - May have no idea why they can heal others - Innate or acquire power - Do not train or even ask for it - Saint Pio o Catholic capuchin priest o 1887-1968 o Experience stigmata for 50 yeas o Gift of healing o Bilocation o Ability to read people’s past  Know what they need to confess before they even confess it o Example of person being a priest and a ho
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