Totemism and Animism

Totemism and Animism - Totemism and Animism

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Totemism and Animism Totemism and animism are religious forms common to smaller societies. A  totem  is any species of  plants or animals thought to possess supernatural powers. Each group within the society may have  its own totem, including associated ceremonies. Totemic beliefs may not be as foreign to the Western  mind as first expected; many Westerners have totems. School mascots, symbols, and emblems all  constitute totems.  Animism  is the belief that spirits, apparitions, angels, or demons inhabit the earth. Either good or  bad, these spirits interact with and/or influence humans in a variety of ways. For example, animists  believe that malevolent spirits cause demonic possession, insanity, and disapproved behavior. From  the animistic perspective, treating unsanctioned actions and attitudes requires praying to good forces  and exorcising evil ones. Animism is not limited to small, simple, pre-industrial societies; various  Americans in the 1990s believe in the existence of supernatural entities that influence humans.  Judaism, Christianity, and Islam As societies become larger and more complex, its people become more likely to join monotheistic  religions. The three most influential monotheistic religions in world history are  Judaism, Christianity,  and  Islam,  all of which began in the Middle East.  Judaism Judaism dates from about 1200 B.C. The first Hebrews were nomads who settled in the land of  Canaan near Egypt. Unlike their polytheistic neighbors, the Jewish 
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Totemism and Animism - Totemism and Animism

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