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Unformatted text preview: 1 Anthropology Religion (11/06) Religion • To impose order and meaning on the world • Helps reduce personal and social anxiety • Helps give people a sense of control over themselves and their world • Provides a sense of identity, belonging, purpose • All religions display some concern with the supernatural – those events, processes that are beyond the control of normal human beings • Science deals with probabilities, predictions to get around the things that religion is for • Look for patterns and themes to categorize and provide some order on religion • Addresses fundamentally similar issues across cultures and across time Religion Addresses: • Existential Questions • Anxieties, Fears, Uncertainties • The Supernatural • Means for binding people into communities • Education by teaching values, morals, relationships and obligations Changes in Religion: • As education becomes more widely available, religion will become less important in our lives • It is becoming an anachronism • Movements of fundamentalism • Fundamentalism represents an intrusion of the outside world • Explain fundamentalism as a reaction to a sense of loss of power • A desire of people to return to a Neolithic past • Ethnocentrism has constrained our conception of religion: morality, Godliness/holiness, but if look at cross-culturally find that these are ideas are not in all religions, there is a great variety • Religion – System of unified beliefs and practices relative to sacred things which unite into one single moral community called a church • Evolution of a new religion comes from the change of people and oppression • Common in emergence of new religions is the importance of charismatic individuals Situating the study of religion: 2 • There are broad and divergent views of what is defined as religion...
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- Fall '07
- Anthropology, Organization of Religions and Beliefs