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The Anthropology of Religion.doc

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University of Guelph
ANTH 1150
D Rose

The Anthropology of Religion DefinitionsReligionA set of rituals rationalized by myth whichmobilizes supernatural powers for the purpose ofachieving or preventing transformations of state inman sic or nature A Wallace 1969 Religion Ananthropological view NY Random HouseAnimism sees nature as animated by all sorts of spirits animals plants mountains rocks springs weaponsunattached freeranging spirits more involved in human affairs foraging peoples Animatism a concept of impersonal power often coincides withanimism manaMelanesia and Polynesia orendaIroquois wakondaSioux manituAlgonquians Myths explanatory narratives stories that rationalize religiousbeliefs and practices focus on humans where we and all in our world came from why we are here where we are going seen as true histories of a people Religious Specialists Full time priests priestesses rabbis etc Power vested in institution Found in large chiefdoms and state societies Shamans parttime religious specialists gifted healers or diviners eg may involve hardship vision quest individual orcommunalistic power acquired individually Shamanistic cults foraging peoples
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