lecture23.0314 - A Word to the Wise Upcoming Stuff...

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1 A Word to the Wise… Upcoming Stuff 1. What do we need to know from “Unmistaken Child”? 2. Readings & the 2nd Essay for Discussion Sections (Questions very soon!) -- Religion as a cultural system -- Religion, moral systems & change -- World system -- “Moral Community” personhood virtue & honor -- Anthropology, personhood, Disaster 1 Lecture 23, 03/14/11 2 Anthropology & Religion How do we approach it? How does it relate to culture & the human condition? How is it holistically connected to its cultural and social worlds? Lecture 23, 03/14/11 Some Problems of Definition 19 th century scholars "hunted for some one word which would best translate 'religion' and, unfortunately, 'dharma …came readily to mind'. Quite apart, however, from the fact that the 'fit' between dharma and 'religion' is very poor indeed, the assumption that these two terms mean more or less the same overlooks the extent to which the meaning of each of them has varied according to the contexts and the circumstances of its use." -- Nicholas Lash Lecture 23, 03/14/11 3 4 What is Religion? Richard Eden (1553) wrote of the Canary Islands: “At Columbus first comming thether, the inhabitantes went naked, without shame, religion or knowledge of God.” Pedro Cieza de León on the north Andean peoples (also 1553): “observing no religion at all, as we understand it, nor is there any house of worship to be found.” Lecture 23, 03/14/11 5 What do these quotes imply? 1. “Religion” an outsider category imposed on native culture 2. Implicitly universal -- it’s “absence” must be noted 3. Characteristics are those that appear “natural” to the definer Lecture 23, 03/14/11 6 How to categorize it? Common to think in dualities that condense to “ours and “theirs” “Our Religion” “Their Religion” “Heathenism” “Paganism” “Idolatry” “True Religion” “False Religion” “Spiritual Religion” “Material Religion” Lecture 23, 03/14/11
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This note was uploaded on 01/23/2012 for the course ANTHRO 101 taught by Professor Peters during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

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lecture23.0314 - A Word to the Wise Upcoming Stuff...

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