RLG STUDY - PART A Animism meaning life soul-belief in...

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PART A: Animism : meaning life, soul, -belief in spiritual beings - Tylor argued that animism was the earliest stage of what we today know as religious behavior - a term popularized by the late 19 th century anthropologist EDWARD BURNETT TYLOR to name the belief he thought to be held by EVOLUTIONARILY early people (what Tylor would’ve named a ‘primitive’ or ‘tribes very low in the scale of humanity’) concerning natural phenomena (ex. Trees, ocean , ppl) possessing spirits or souls. - was developed to help answer the question “what is the origin of religion?” making Tylor an early example of a scholar developing a NATURALISTIC theory of religion. -Chapter 4 The Functions of Religion - for Tylor the NATURAL cause of religion could be explained by understanding its origin, and its origin was based on our ancient ancestors solving puzzles by using their inevitably faulty reasoning about how the natural world worked. -naturalistic theories of religion: opposed the theological approaches that presume study of religion to be found in a supernatural source (god). It presupposes that those beliefs, behaviors or institutions classified as ‘religious’ are in fact mundane elements of the historical, cultural world. - We therefore refer to Tylor’s definition as essentialist: it identifies the 1 essential feature without which something wouldn’t be what it is. Theodicy : meaning the justice of god (problem of evil) -coined by the philosopher G OTTFRIED W ILHELM VON L EIBNIZ to name the problem of justifying belief in the goodness of an all- powerful divine being in light of routine empirical observations of what could be called evil in the world. -
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RLG STUDY - PART A Animism meaning life soul-belief in...

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