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Chapter 16

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTH 1150
Professor
R.Sylvain
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 16 Religion AnimismThe belief that humans share the world with a population of extraordinary mostly invisible beingsMembers of every society believe that inside the ordinary visible tangible body of a human or other life form there is a normally invisible normally intangible being the soulOriginated from the experience of dreaming in which a phantom version appearssleep fainting madness and death all lead to the notion of a world of spirits who enter and leave human bodies at willIf a belief recurred again and again in virtually all times and places it could not be a product of mere fantasyAncient Egyptians had two and so do many West African cultures souls one from the mothers ancestors and one from the fathersJvaro of Ecuador have three souls the first is the mekas and gives life to the body the second is the arutam and has to be captured through a druginduced visionary experience at a scared waterfall it confers bravery in battle to the possessor and the third soul the musiak forms inside the head of a dying warrior and attempts to avenge his deathThe Dahomey say that women have three souls and men have fourboth sexes have an ancestor soul a personal soul and a mawn soul god the extra man soul guides men to positions of leadershipThe Fang of Gabon have seven a brain soul heart soul name soul life force soul body soul shadow soul and ghost soulSome find animism too narrow Animatism and ManaAnimatism is the belief in diffuse impersonal power that people can control under certain circumstancesMana is the possession of a concentrated animatistic force that gives certain objects animals and people extraordinary powers independent of the power derived from souls and godsMost cultures do not distinguish between natural and supernatural realmsReligion refers to beliefs and actions that are based on the assumption that the world is under the control of supernatural forces that humans must please Magic and ReligionMagic refers to a practice intended to manipulate supernatural forces to achieve a specific resultmagic is less spiritual and less ethical than religion
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