ANTH 209 Study Guide - Final Guide: Mama Lola, West African Vodun, Protestant Work Ethic

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Study Guide: Readings
Saturday, April 14, 2018
4:12 PM
1. Mama Lola - Brown
2. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life - Durkheim
3. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism - Weber
4. Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic - Evans-Pritchard
5. Religion as a Cultural System - Geertz
6. The Madonna of 115th - Orsi
7. Snakes Alive - Orsi
8. Savage Systems - Chidester
9. The Colonization of Consciousness - Comaroff
10. Land Animals, Pure and Impure - Douglas
11. Medusa's Hair - Obeysekere
12. Liminality and Communitas - Turner
13. When the World Becomes Female -Flueckiger
14. Hearing Things - Schmidt
15. On the Jewish Question Part I - Marx
16. Reforming Culture: Law and Religion Today
17. Muslim Veiling and Legacy of Laïcité - Sharify-Funk
18. Intimacy Surveilled - Fernando
19. An Enchanted Modern - Deeb
20. Gender and Public Piety - Deeb
Mama Lola - Brown
Haitian History
Cannot be separated from analysis of Haiti & its history
Colonized by the French, after French revolution part of the slave revolt
Haitian Revolution: slave revolt resulting in abolition of the slaves; formerly enslaved people
established themselves
Voudou is a way to deal with stress and violence that has characterized their lives
Don't categorize religion in previous knowledge
Question of Voudou as a religion: more about ritual and possession & social relationships but less about
how much you believe
Value of methodological practice; relationship with spirits like elders
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Is Voudou a religion?
Bondier: busy God, no time to deal with peeople, instead the spirits are very much apart of our
lives
Relationships with the spirits who are larger than life not other than life
Not about belief or faith
Interested in religion as a practice not a set of doctrines, this approach resists effort to define
religion
Terms:
Possession Performance: Possession is a kind of performance; transaction with Loai but also
something social
Possession & Exorcism: Event marking entrance of spirit
Embodiment: Psychic phenomenon when divine becomes manifest; person unable to see what is
happening
Suspension of belief; relies on belief
Continuity of religion: way to cope with hardships in life; using to cope with loss/poverty
The Elementary Forms of Religious Life - Durkheim
What Rituals Do:
Keep society together through collectivity
Looking at elementary forms of religion to ascertain the basis of religion
Modern institutions are religious in character because they are practices which shape morally
temporal character
Religion has ever present causes, something we have as people
Religion is a social system serving to classify the world into categories of sacred and profane
Sacred = reflection of society, they decide what is sacred & it shows what society values
Shared religion is where we derive our cultural norms
Religion: unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things which unite into one single
moral community called a Church.
Principles:
1. Sacred vs profane
2. Beliefs and practices
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Sacred: something set apart from the ordinary
Powerful, have to know how to approach through kinds of rituals because it can be dangerous
Exists in all societies because it is apart of us
What we have in moment of secularization of getting God out of government is an example of modern
religion
Secular ideas become symbols of new society (are made sacred)
Excitement about these symbols perpetuated through rituals (meetings, rallying around symbols)
During French Revolution: things that were natural and secular transformed by public opinion
into sacred things (liberty, reason)
Terms
Profane: the ordinary
Rituals: everyone present feels they are unified, ritual knowledge converted to power
Rites: generate emotion
Collective Effervescence: moods bubble up all to feel connected
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism - Weber
Capitalism has Elective Affinity for Protestant work ethic
Elective Affinity: how certain elements in nature combine with each other based on compatibility
There was once this affinity working together but now capitalism doesn't need religious affinity
In order to understand success of American capitalism, we have to understand religion
Materialistic revolution indebted to spiritual revolution
Ideas moving Capitalism product of the Enlightenment that argued science/reason are grounds for
knowledge
Ethos (spirit of being) of Capitalism
Benjamin Franklin: epitome of capitalism; wealth is an ends in itself, fulfills itself
Giving set of moral principles (to accumulate wealth)
Spirit of Protestants remains a ghost in machine of Capitalism
Modern day Capitalists not Calvinists, don't pursue spiritual ends
Calvinism: work hard in calling
the development of Capitalism
work because it ensures you are saved
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Document Summary

Cannot be separated from analysis of haiti & its history. Colonized by the french, after french revolution part of the slave revolt. Haitian revolution: slave revolt resulting in abolition of the slaves; formerly enslaved people established themselves. Voudou is a way to deal with stress and violence that has characterized their lives. Question of voudou as a religion: more about ritual and possession & social relationships but less about how much you believe. Value of methodological practice; relationship with spirits like elders. Bondier: busy god, no time to deal with peeople, instead the spirits are very much apart of our lives. Relationships with the spirits who are larger than life not other than life. Interested in religion as a practice not a set of doctrines, this approach resists effort to define religion. Possession performance: possession is a kind of performance; transaction with loai but also something social. Possession & exorcism: event marking entrance of spirit.

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