ANTH 130 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Polytheism, Liminality, Cargo Cult

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5 Feb 2017
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Sunday, February 5, 2017
Kottak Ch 9
-Religion- belief and ritual concerned with supernatural beings, powers, and forces
-Communities- intense community spirit; a feeling of great social solidarity, equality,
and togetherness
-Shamans- early religious specialists
-Animism- the soul was one sort of spiritual entity
-Polytheism- belief in multiple gods
-Monotheism- belief in a single, all powerful deity
-Mana- sacred impersonal force existing in the universe
-Taboo- set apart as sacred and off-limits to ordinary people
-Magic- supernatural techniques intended to accomplish specific aims
-Rituals- formal; performed in special places and at set times
-Rites of passage- customs associated with the transition from one place or stage of
life to another
confirmations, baptism, bar/bat mitzvahs, etc
Phases:
-separation- withdraw from ordinary society
-liminality- exist apart from ordinary distinctions and expectations
-incorporation- reenter society
-Totems- animals, plants, or geographical features
-Ex votos- plastic impressions of every conceivable body part
-The power of religion affects action
-Leveling mechanism- custom or social action that operates to reduce status
differences and thus to bring standouts in line with community norms
-Pantheons- collections of deities
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