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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTH 1150
Professor
R.Sylvain
Semester
Winter

Description
Religion & Expressive Culture (H&J Ch 16, S&M Ch 29) 13/03/2012 3:59:00 PM o Key Terms Animism belief that physical beings share the earth with invisible beings that are their double (soul) Animatism belief in a diffuse power that humans can control in certain conditions Shamanistic cults centered around shamans Communal cults practice communal rites/rituals Rite of passage marks the end of a stage for individual or group Liminality time during rite when initiate is cut off from regular social contacts, normal life is thrown around Rites of solidarity reaffirm the power of the group Ecclesiatical cults have a class of priesthood that gets organized into a centralized authority Revitalization movements organized movements that seek to construct a more satisfying cultural life General Questions o What is religion o What is the difference between magic and religion? o What function does religion serve? o What are the different kinds of religious beliefs and practices? General Notes o Anthropological view of religion Religion beliefs and actions that are based on the assumption that the world is under the control of supernatural forces which humans must appease Cross cultural definition not always a supreme deity Used as an explanation for nature, death, etc Primitive culture people needed an explanation for death, etc concept of soul (animism) Animatism life force in the universe, not indiv soul Magic the attempt to compel supernatural forces and beings to act in certain ways Intends to manipulate forces, considered less ethical Believe magic can be found in any culture Rituals that reduce anxiety related to uncertainty Not mutually exclusive o Cults Individualistic cults people dont make distinction btwn religious specialist and lay persons (everyone is their own rel spec) Common in native north American and south American cultures Shamanistic cults Shamans men or women specially recognized for having abilities to enter into contact with the spirit world/control supernatural forces Often healers Manipulate forces through trances o Ju/hoansi trance dance *Two-spirit person Communal cults Rites of passage o Used as mechanism to separate ppl into gender scripts Separation upon menstruation has different explanations depending on gender o Stages: Separation initiate is separated physically, socially, and symbolically from normal life Transition during a ceremony/ritual Reintegration/incorporation unveiled after ritual o Liminal phase suspension from ordinary rules Rites of solidarity o Common in societies with lineages, unilineal descent o Cohorts come from dif lineages o Canadian ex: prom, summer camp Ecclesiastical cults Involves engaging in activities that spiritually endorse the ruling class Sophisticated system of taxation to support these full time religious specialists Revitalization movements Either revitalizing old beliefs OR adopting new practices Politics and Welfare (H&J Ch 10, 11, S&M Ch 2, 26) 13/03/2012 3:59:00 PM o Key Terms Subsistence economy organized at household level, in order to meet basic needs Political economy regulates the flow of goods in large multi family settings, and has hierarchical Bands (e.g., the Ju/hoansi) small group extended kin (20-100) Tribes (e.g. the Nuer) Big Men System (e.g., Melanesia) - Achieved status Cheifdoms (e.g., Trobrianders) regional systems bringing together several villages under an elite class of leaders ( 1000s) Ascribed status inherited social status Sodalities major kinds of political function, found where there is little centralized leadership General Questions o What are the bases for the influence and authority in different societies? o What are the difference between band leaders, headmen, Big Men, and chiefs? o What is the relationship between infrastructure and state formation? o Why war? (What is it good for?) General Notes o Authority recognized right to take action (not through force) Power the ability to pursue ones will effectively, even thru force Influence take action through persuasion Can come from less empowered people H&J how do people non state societies function without our political systems Subsistence economies: Small in size persuasion through public opinion can work Kin-based Great access to resource and tech more egalitarian Most households are largely self sufficient As populations go, this transforms into political econ
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