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Lecture 9

Lecture 9

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Joseph Bryant

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Lec 09 - Nov 10 Providence - the conviction that mans existence has infinite value - That god reaches down and helps you - The universe watches us and we have infinite value - If a lions life is saved we dont think its bcd god reached down to help and we bring this notion also on to ourselves Project - what is the impact on the viewer Prehistorical Religion? High mortality rates, short lives spans - group survival highly dependant upon reporidictive fertility of the women thus mother goddessspirit prominence (exaggerated sexual features: breast, hips, vulva) - Hazard of the hunt need to: - 1. Galvanize hunters energy and courage and 2. Obtain consent of animals or control over animal cults for more than 600 000 yr. Humans were hunters and gathers Aspects go Primalaboriginal religion - a synthesis: what can be inferred from prehistory (archeology, linguists etc) and the ethnographi study of contemporary preliterate societies - We find - 1. Belief in supernatural powersforces -> religions of god and goddesses - 1. Belief in soulsspirits -> ancestor cults - Both are systematized and expressed in myth and ritual - Societies without the state are typically organized by KINSHIP: family lineages or blood lines - descant from a common ancestor, in clans, tribes - In ANCESTOR CULTS or worship, the dead remain involved with the living as OFFICIAL GUARDIANS OF THE SOCIAL ORDER AND IT MORAL CODES - ritual specialist appeal to the ancestors spirits to give rulings, settle disputes etc - i.e. The hunting and gathering Vetted and CeylonSirlanka shamans call upon and incarnate the YAKU or ancestors, they sepal through his guttural groans, analysis shows that approval.disapproval is based upon compliance with the groups moral code (recall Kritias & social control) - The ancestors will make sounds that will make interpreted by the shaman and the priest and they are meant to bring back harmony and make a judicious judgment - Ancestors are believed to control fertility, the hunt and farming, weather, heath and illness etc - Misfortunes are interpreted as occurring in consequence of BREACHES IN THE MORAL ORDER - The ancestor spirit - communicating through the ritual mediums - are the CENSORS - Disputes settlements -- linear and kinship ancestors are prominent -- in the state base the ancestors are not as large as in the smaller scale society -- this is in relation to the social control theory that they are kind of a spirit police to have moral control over
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