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Lecture 8

Lecture 8

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANT102H5
Professor
Victor Barac
Semester
Summer

Description
ANT102H5S – Introduction to Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology Lecture 07 – August 6, 2013 Religion Overview - James Frazer - Animism - Animatism - Myth & Ritual - The Social Organization of Religion - Religion and Society - Religion and Social Change Intro (not part of slides) - Religare – binding together - Emphasis on belief comes from James Frazier James Frazer (1854-1941) - The Golden Bough (1890) o Kept on expanding year after year, and by 1915, there were 15 volumes of ancient rituals, mythologies o It was available to the public f religious practices - Study of ancient cults, myths, and rites - Magic  Religion  Science o Evolutionary schemes that he didn’t make up, was first expounded in detail o For him magic had to do with arbitrary super natural forces o The realm of religion, what becomes a central concern, is fulfilling the will of God o Science whips all of that away, and rational investigation takes presence Animism - Belief in spirit-beings (Edward Tylor) o Generic term coined by Tylor o Described this diverse ray of beliefs in all sorts of entities - Souls, ghosts, witches, demons, spirits, gods, etc. - The idea of discrete individual beings - Specific beliefs central to all religions Animatism - Belief in impersonal, diffuse forces (Robert Marrett) o Belief in diffuse and arbitrary forces o Example: Luck, pentagram - Herbre –el - Greek – dynamis - Latin – noumena o Highly charged phenomena ANT102H5S – Introduction to Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology Lecture 07 – August 6, 2013 - Polynesia – mana o Idea that the chief is a powerful spiritual energy - Iroquois – Orenda Myth and Ritual - The two basic elements of religion: o Tylor and Fraser has an emphasis on the intellectual aspect of religion - Myth o Basis of belief systems of stories o Provides cognitive coherence o A general interpreted framework of life - Ritual o Gestures and actions o Symbolic actions o Expresses things like social solidarity, or identity Myth = The grand narratives of a culture - Explanations o Tells us about origins, the future - Value systems o Communicates values – what we consider to be the good things in life o Affect how people conceive the central things in life (example: marriage, sex) Ritual = Rites and ceremonies - Collective – shared, intense emotional o Form of communication o Example: aboriginals in Australia have puberty ceremonies for the boys. As you age, you cut underneath the penis until the uretra, where when your old, its basically in half - Individual – empowerment, catharsis, healing The Social Organization of Religion - Anthony F.C. Wallace on religious cults - Durkheim o Against the evolutionists o First modern sociologist o The essence of religion is to be found in the nature of society - Individualistic cults - Shamanistic cults - Communal cults - Ecclesiastical cults Religion and Society 1 Huichol (Mexico) ANT102H5S – Introduction to Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology Lecture 07 – August 6, 2013 - Nature spirits o Tataweri = fire o Tatetima = rain o Kauyumarie = deer - Human spirit o Watakame = clearer of the fields - Foragers started cultivating corn o Where they don’t completely abandon hunting, just become more dependent on corn o Illustrates the process of synietism  combine the aspects of belief of two differ traditions Religion and Society 2 Weyewa (Sumb, Indonesia) - Practice agriculture and are also a ranked society o The lineages are arranged according to status - Nature spirits o Elements, plants, animals o There is no direct access to the element of spirit - Human spirits o Ancestors spirits o The most powerful ancestor spirits are the spirits of the higher lineages Religion and Society 3 Classical Greek Pantheon - Zeus – king o - Hera – queen - Hephaestus –smith o The metal working God - Hermes – messenger - Hestia –hearth-keeper o Goddess of the home - Reflect the structure of life in the city, especially the early city state Religion and Society 4 Monotheism - Aton/ Aten o Amenhotep IV (Ikhnaton) of Egypt o Destroyed all the other gods, except the sun, hence there is only one god - Abrahamic god o Yahweh, Trinity, Allah ANT102H5S – Introduction to Sociocultural and Linguisti
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