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ANTH 2550 (1)

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ANTH 2550
Tom Sherwood

25502736 Class Notes 11 First Class SessionIntroduction orientation organizational mattersReview of the Course Outline and Instruments of EvaluationIntroduction of the textbook and lecturesSuggestion You may want to write your own glossary for this course as you go alongesp in the firstmonth prior to the term testLecture 1The Anthropological Approach to ReligionWhy study religionWhat is religionthe problems and opportunities of definitionconstitutive elements of religion Religion and Magic and Witchcraft Studying religion and religious phenomenaWhat is anthropology of religion Religion is one of the most powerful deeply felt and influential forces in the human experienceIt has shaped peoples relationships with each other influencing family community economic and political lifeReligious beliefs and values motivate human action illustrate and religious groups organize their collective religious expressionsReligion is a significant aspect of social life and the social dimension is an important part of religionAnthropologists are interested in studying religion primarily for two reasonsFirst religion is very important to many peopleReligious practices are important parts of many individuals livesReligious values influence their actions and religious meanings help them to interpret their experiencesAnthropologists seek to understand the meaning of religion to believers themselvesSecond religion is an important object for sociological study because of its impact on society and societys impact on religionAnalysis of this dynamic relationship requires examining the interdependence of religion and other aspects of societyOther disciplines study religionlist them and consider how the approach is differentThe Anthropological ApproachholisticempiricalobjectiveBecause religion is so intensely personal and reverently held some people have trouble grasping an anthropological perspective on itThe socialscientific approach is a way of looking at religion that focuses on the human esp the social aspects of religion and practiceReligion is both individual and socialEven the most intensely subjective mystical experience is given meaning through socially available symbols and has value partly because of culturally estd interpretations of such experiencescf suicide conversion etc as both individual and socialtomsherwoodcarletonca
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