Structural functionalism Nineteenth century " armchair anthropologists " were concerned with the basic question of how religion originated in human history.
IResearchNet Anthropology of Religion This article traces the history of the anthropology of religion from the nineteenth century to the present. It argues that a focus on such questions as rationality and ritual was central to the emergence of the discipline. These themes, along with topics such as witchcraft, belief, language, and the body, have remained of perennial interest.
More recently, focus has also been placed on the anthropologies of world religions such as Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism; on religion in relation to globalization and diaspora; and on cognitive approaches to the workings of the human mind.
Emergence of Anthropology of Religion The comparative study of religion formed a central building block of anthropology as the discipline emerged in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. In the light of social evolutionary models of human development, religious practice was perceived as providing a powerful index of the mental and moral levels of so-called primitive peoples.
Christianity as an object of study but also a mode of thought that has itself framed anthropological understandings of religion, temporality, and culture.
The use of religion as a key site for the examination of human rationality permeates E.
The book assesses the logic and consistency of Azande modes of thought, and indicates how they might be translated into the understandings of a Western readership.
A further foundational strand in the anthropological study of religion has been the investigation of the relationship between religion and social order.
Reflecting on the history of the anthropology of religion, Michael Lambek Definitions of Anthropology of Religion Attempts to produce a sustainable, universal definition of religion have prompted much debate.
Not all scholars believe that a definition is possible. In other words religion is not a natural kind, by which I mean a category that has a basis other than that given by an arbitrary definition.
At the same time, a Durkheimian approach still raised questions as to 1 the worth of assuming that rigid distinctions between sacred and profane existed cross-culturally, 2 the focus on order and stability as a feature of social institutions such as religion, and 3 the universality of any characterization of religion.
In the s, the American anthropologist Clifford Geertz combined a Durkheimian understanding of religion as a collective social act with a more Weberian emphasis on meaning and experience. A later period of anthropology would express worries over the cross-cultural validity but also the intellectual and cultural politics of the very act of making definitions.
The best-known contributor to such debate has been Talal Asad In his view, the very act of defining must be seen as the historical product of ideologically charged, discursive processes.
Similarly, the notion of religion as an autonomous activity is regarded as emerging from a unique, Western, post-Reformation history. What, then, might be the solution to such dilemmas? Bloch turns to ritual rather than religion in articulating his comparative approach, arguing that the former can be found in all types of society, and is a specific type of modification of the way human beings in general communicate.
In the following, I adopt another pragmatic, inductive approach, taking the anthropology of religion to be what scholars actually do, no matter what definition of the subject they endorse.
He notes that both the original Greek verb pisteuo and the Hebrew root mn express ideas of trust or confidence in an agreement, indicating a fundamentally social orientation.
Subsequently, the Protestant Reformation hinges on a stress on the inward totality of Christian belief.
However, it is difficult to find equivalents to Protestant notions of belief in Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism. As Needham puts the problem: Nevertheless, I had been accustomed to say … that they believed in a supreme god.
One of the issues that Needham touches on is crucial for much comparative ethnography: Joel Robbinsexamines the conversion to Pentecostal Christianity of the Urapmin of Papua New Guinea, and shows how even the apparent assimilation of Christian categories can conceal a more complex relationship to belief than might at first appear.
For the Urapmin, Christian belief is not about mentally assenting to a set of propositions about divinity, but rather a form of trusting God to do what He promised.Maurice Bloch - Ritual, History and Power.
and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society* Victor Turner, Revelation and Divination in Ndembu Ritual* Victor Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure* Roy Wagner, Lethal Speech: Daribi Myth as Symbolic Obviation A comparison of the dominant medicines of these two.
Victor Turner Ritual Process. Rites of Passage. Richard Schechner Performance Theory. Bell_Catherine - Ritual - Perspectives and Dimensions Maurice Bloch - Ritual, History and Power. Performance Theory PDF - Free PDF eBooks Download and Ritual General Editor: Victor Turner This series provides a forum for current research on myth.
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A ritual "is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence".
Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious monstermanfilm.coms are characterized but not defined by formalism, traditionalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral .
ILLUSTRATIONS, DEVOTIONALS, HOMILIES 1 Corinthians Resources Part 3 of 3 From Our Daily Bread (ODB) unless otherwise designated . This article traces the history of the anthropology of religion from the nineteenth century to the present. It argues that a focus on such questions as rationality and ritual was central to .