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Chapter 10 Outline - Chapter Outline I Introduction A...

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Chapter Outline I. Introduction A. Anthony Wallace defines religion as belief and ritual concerned with supernatural beings, powers, and  forces. B. Another perspective on religion focuses on bodies of people who gather together regularly for worship,  and who accept a set of doctrines involving the relationship between the individual and divinity, the  supernatural, or whatever is taken to be the ultimate nature of reality. C. Anthropologists have stressed the collective, shared, and enacted nature of religion, the emotions it  generates, and the meanings it embodies. 1. Durkheim stressed religious effervescence, the bubbling up of collective emotional intensity  generated by worship. 2. Victor Turner used the term communitas to refer to an intense community spirit, a feeling of great  social solidarity, equality, and togetherness. D. Like ethnicity and language, religion also is associated with social divisions within and between societies  and nations. E. Religion is a cultural universal, although different societies conceptualize divinity, supernatural entities,  and ultimate realities very differently. II. Expressions of Religion A. Neanderthal burials and European cave paintings may be evidence of early religious activity. B. Animism 1. E. B. Tylor was the first to study religion anthropologically. 2. Tylor proposed that religion evolved through three stages: first animism, then polytheism, and finally  monotheism. a. Animism was a belief in spiritual beings that, according to Tylor, originated from peoples'  attempts to explain dreams and trances (in which the soul was active). b. Polytheism is the belief in multiple gods. c. Monotheism is the belief in a single, all-powerful deity. C. Mana and Taboo 1. Mana is a sacred impersonal force that can reside in people, animals, plants, and objects. 2. Belief in mana was especially prominent in Melanesia (the area of the South Pacific that includes  Papua New Guinea and adjacent islands).
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a. Melanesian mana, similar to our notion of efficacy or luck, could be acquired or manipulated by  people in different ways, such as through magic. b. One could acquire mana by chance, or by working hard to get it. c. Because success was attributed to mana (and failure to a lack of mana), the notion of mana  provided an explanation for differential success that people could not understand in ordinary,  natural terms. 3. In Polynesia, mana was attached to political offices.
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