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Localizing Religion F13 Anth111

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by

Julie Jenkins

on 21 February 2014

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Transcript of Localizing Religion F13 Anth111

Localizing Religion
Unchanging?
--dynamic
--respond to economic and social inequalities
set in opposition to 'science'?

Our social and intellectual history--
--The Enlightenment set up a system of thought:
Rational Irrational
Science Superstition
Real Not real
Modern Not modern/'backward'
But the difference between 'religion' & 'science' not necessarily a problem in other cultural thought processes.
we tend to think about religion in terms of organized belief systems, associated with a doctrine & place
but...this is ethnocentric
-can be a more integrated system of thought, without doctrine, place, rituals
E.B. Tylor's definition:
--Belief in Supernatural Beings
Robert Marett
--Mana: impersonal force or power (Melanesian and the Polynesian)
Religion is:
--Worldview
--Set of practices
How do anthropologists understand religion?
Religion is an intellectual activity:

--helps to understand and explain the world around us and the events that happen to us
Evans-Pritchard & the Azande
Know the "How"
--Asking the "Why Me?"
Geertz - Reassures us that the world is orderly & meaningful
(not chaotic)
Religion provides for Psychological Needs
--Malinowski-- Religion helps us cope with times of trouble
--gives people confidence in circumstances they can't control
Use rituals to ‘control’ the uncontrollable
--Doing so, removes anxiety and fear
Religion has social functions (Durkheim)
--instills and maintains values
--enforces social order
--promotes social cohesion
Rastafari in Jamaica
--religious protest movement, 1930s
--response to racial discrimination
--exploitative capitalist relations
--oppositional culture against middle/upper class & Christianity
--Haile Selassie
--Reparation to Africa
--Babylon
--techno development enslaving
--personally achieved wisdom
--ideological flexibility through interpretation
--sacredness of nature "I-Tal"
--"Dread Talk" - downpression, overstand
--Word Power Sound
symbolism of dreads
--anti middle class
--anti-capitalism
--connected to nature
--Reasoning Session
--Ritualized consumption of marijuana
How has this been localized in the Japanese context?
--transmitted through roots reggae
--Rastafarian Identifying
--don't claim Haile Selassi

Urban context:
--social & political critique
--Fire- way to critcize Japanese apprehension of difference
--Taffy- way to discretely express Burakumin identity
--Taz-- way to articulate discontent with capitalist exploitation
Rural
--connection with "hippy" subculture
--Global Cultural vs Global Political
--revitalization of spiritual "natural" self
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