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Week 9 Lecture

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Victor Barac

RELIGION OVERVIEW 1. James Frazer 2. Animism 3. Animatism 4. Myth & Ritual 5. Emile Durkheim 6. The Social Organization of Religion 7. Religion and Society 8. Religion and Social Change James Frazer (18541941) focused on religion as an aspect of discourse of discuss 1. The Golden Bough (1890) Multi volume work and kept on being published and successive in editions 2. Study of ancient cults, myths, and rites It became so popular in 19 century in intellectual circles 3. Magic -> Religion -> Science Idea was primitive societies had magic, intermediate societies advanced to religion, and the highest level of society focused on science Societies that believed in magic were people that were trying to deal with arbitrary forces Religion was something else for Frazer, represented an evolutionary event, had to do with advancing the will of God rather than simply trying to manipulate supernatural forces Sciences was more of a rational investigation When anthropologists looked at religious phenomenon Religion was primarily an intellectual activity Animism Belief in spiritbeings (Edward Tylor religion had to do with beliefs) 1. Souls, ghosts, witches, demons, spirits, gods, etc. 2. Discrete, individual beings Often have names, dress, titles often 3. Specific beliefs central to all religions All religions have some sort of beliefs Animatism another class of phenomenon Belief in impersonal, diffuse forces (Robert Marrett) 1. Hebrew el 2. Greek dynamis 3. Latin noumena 4. Polynesia mana = supernatural power that comes from Polynesia 5. Iroquois orenda = a type of life giving power that people draw from and give back to in the course of their lives
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