Anth+2A+Lecture+Notes++18+Jan+2007 - • Taboo –things...

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Anth 2A Lecture – 18 January 2007 LECTURE NOTES: MAKING SENSE OF THE WORLD: MAGIC, SCIENCE AND RELIGION Edward Tylor Belief in souls , or animism , earliest form of religion Polytheism , or the belief in multiple deities Monotheism , or the belief in one supreme deity Religion – set of attitudes, beliefs, and practices pertaining to supernatural power Natural versus supernatural powers People invented religion in response to universal needs or conditions: 1. Need for intellectual understanding – Tylor 2. Reversion to childhood feelings – Freud 3. Anxiety and uncertainty – Malinowski 4. Need for community – Durkheim o Totemism Huge variation in the details of religious beliefs as well as practices Supernatural Forces Mana – supernatural, impersonal force that inhabits certain objects or people and is believed to confer strength or success
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Unformatted text preview: • Taboo –things that have mana are to be touched; things that are taboo cannot be touched because their power can cause harm Supernatural Beings Those of non-human origins • Gods – named personalities that are often anthropomorphic • Spirits –beneath the gods in prestige and often closer to the people o guardian spirits • hobgoblin type who delights in making mischief • spirits that take pleasure in working evil on behalf of people Those of Human Origins • Ghosts – supernatural beings who were once human • Ancestor spirits – ghosts of dead relatives Character of the supernatural beings might be related to child rearing practices Range of societies from egalitarian to highly stratified has counterpart in supernatural world 1...
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