Religion Lecture

Religion Lecture - Religion Lecture Notes Some questions...

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Religion Lecture Notes Some questions anthropologists ask about religion: What explains the worldwide variation in religion, myth, and belief in the supernatural? How and why did religions originate? What effect does religion have on society? What effect does religion have on individuals? Some definitions of religion: A.F.C. Wallace says: “Religion is a set of rituals, rationalized by myth, which mobilizes supernatural powers for the purposes of achieving or preventing transformations of state in people and nature.” A confound of this definition is that not all religions are based primarily in the supernatural. Examples: Taoism and Confucianism originally came from Chinese philosophical schools. Many followers don’t attend to supernatural or metaphysical aspects at all. Clifford Geertz says: “(1) a system of symbols which acts to (2) establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic” Geertz’ definition requires that the “conceptions of general order” be more or less consistent. This is not the case is all instances. Example: Haitian Voodoo practice was based conflicting belief systems Functional approach to studying religion: How people approach questions of ultimacy? Origin of Religion: Related to development of self awareness, language, and capacity for symbolism and abstract thinking Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development Formal Operational Reasoning : The ability to not only think logically, but to extrapolate abstract ideas and consider hypothetical situations. This represents the ability to think abstractly and symbolically. Formal operational reasoning develops in human beings during early adolescents, according to Piaget. Many religions include:
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2010 for the course ANTHRO 101 taught by Professor Osbjorn during the Fall '09 term at New Mexico.

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Religion Lecture - Religion Lecture Notes Some questions...

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