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Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Belief and Religious Ideology.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTHROP 1AB3
Professor
Antonio Sorge

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Chapter 5: Belief and Religious Ideology What is religion?  Religion are beliefs to supernatural beings  Atheist do not have a religion, the remain neutral  Sir Edward Tylor wrote that magic, religion, and science are alike o He considered science to be most superior out of the three  James Frazer defined magic as something that people attempt to compel supernatural forces and beings that act a certain way.  Frazer broken down magic into 2 sub-divisions: o The law of similarity  When two things share a common similarity. Ex. voodoo doll. If a person resembles the voodoo doll, then what’s done to the voodoo doll would be done the same to the resembling person o The law of contagion  Are things that once had contact with that person, those possessions can still have an affect on that individual even if they don’t have it anymore. In cultures, people are careful on how the dispose their wastes  Ex. Hair trimming, nail clipping, teeth, blood, saliva etc.  Religious beliefs are shared by groups of people and are passed down to generations. Elders teach kids about religion through songs, pictures, stories etc. o Ex. Buddhism, Christianity etc.  Beliefs can be split into two main points o Myth  Stories about supernatural beings or forces  Oral tradition, and many are unwritten myths o Doctrine  Statements about religious beliefs  Defines how the world came to be (Big bang theory), supernatural (religion) and peoples relation between others and supernatural  Deals with large-scale religion such as Christianity, not “folk” religion  Doctrine changes:  Ex. A new doctrine is introduced to the Catholic Church by many people  Why do myth exist? o Bronislaw Malinowski answered, myth exist to express beliefs and teach morality Chapter 5: Belief and Religious Ideology 1 o Claude Lévi-Strauss answered; myth helps in a philosophical and psychological ways. It involves with helping people deal with contradictions such as life and death, good and evil by providing stories o Cultural materialist answered, myths helps people by giving information based on types of living (hunger, food storage, etc.) and how to manage economic crisis  Supernaturals can be known as all powerful creators such as God or spirits  Animatism are beliefs that supernaturals that is created as a impersonal power  Zoomorphic are beliefs that a God or Goddess are in the form of a animal o Ex. Hinduism how they think the cow is sacred  Anthropomorphic are beliefs that the supernatural are in the form of humans. Some cultures view dead ancestors as supernaturals, so we pray to them o Ex. How we have picture of our great grandfather. **Think about how we pray to him** (Burning money, making the food and having them eat “first”)  Many religion have many scared spaces such as rock formations or rivers are either marked or unmarked permanently. Aboriginal people are closely tied to sacred spaces o Rock formations that are often unmarked resembles humans, animals, or birds Ritual Practices  Rituals are practices that are focused towards supernatural realm. It can broken into two components: o Sacred rituals  Rituals that are related to beliefs stated in myth and doctrine  Ex. Christian communions o Secular rituals  Rituals that have no relation to the supernatural realm  Ex. Initiations  Periodic rituals o Are rituals performed annually to commemorate an important date  Ex. Christmas Day, to remember the birth of Jesus  Nonperiodic rituals o Are rituals performed randomly  Ex. Birth, marriage, death  Life-cycle ritual or rite of passage o Ritual performed to change a persons status in society  Three stages of rite of passage are: o Separation  Separated from society Chapter 5: Belief and Religious Ideology 2 o Transition  Undergoing the ritual to transition into the next phase of their life o Reintegration  Goes back into society with a new status  Pilgrimage is travels to sacred places with respect to religious devotion or ritual. It transforms individuals and for people who has gone on pilgrimage often: o Gains higher public status o Spiritual benefits  Ritual of inversion is when social roles and relations are temporarily reversed. This ritual relives social pressure and maintains social order. When the ritual is over, peoples everyday roles are back to normal o Example of ritual of inversion is Carnival. Carnival allows people take roles that are normally not assigned to them in society. Men do women things and vice- versa.  Sacrifice involves offerings to something to the supernatural. This can include, killing and offering animals, offering fruits, vegetables, grains etc. Religious Specialists  Shaman is a religious specialist that has direct relationships to the supernatural. o This role is opened to anyone o More involved in nonperiodic rituals  Priest/Priestess (not relating to the catholic priest) is someone that promotes development of religion. o Are full-time religious specialists o Role is inherit or passed down from previous priest in the lineage o Performs wider-range of rituals such as periodic rituals  Other religious specialists are: o Diviners are ones that knows the will and wishes of the supernatural o Prophets are those that represents the will of the supernatural through visions and dreams (American Dad, Steve became the prophet) o Witches affects people through emotions and thought by using psychic powers th  Worl
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