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Anth101 SPR16 Religion
Transcript of Anth101 SPR16 Religion
responds to economic, political and social contexts & inequalities
Is religion unchanging?
organized system of beliefs?
E.B. Tylor's definition:
"Belief in Supernatural Beings"
What about Mana?
impersonal force or power (Melanesia/Polynesia)
set of practices, norms, values, etc
How do anthropologists make sense of religion?
Religion as an intellectual activity:
helps to understand and explain the world around us and the events that happen to us
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
E.P. Pritchard & the Azande
mangu is a substance found in the body (inherited)
distinct from ngua (learnt)
examine what religions represent; how do symbols and rituals act as metaphors for social life
Provides way to interpret the world
"models of" & "models for"
Reassures us that the world is orderly & meaningful (not chaotic)--
Connecting us to a reality 'more real' than everyday life.
project the social values and norms of society into a symbol
When the group celebrates its spirits or gods, the group is re-attaching themselves to the social values of the community
accusations appear within the context of tension in social relations
reinforce moral standards