Christian missionaries were fond of the idea that these religious beliefs were

Christian missionaries were fond of the idea that

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Christian missionaries were fond of the idea that these religious beliefs were irrational and unchanging- presented missionary work as turning irrational people into civilized Christians Some christian denominations did respect tribal cultures to some extent
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by including cultural elements into their sermons Walter Ivans Malaitans life is a life of suspicion Are easily discourage from a course of action that is against the curse of action common to all Acts according to the voice of the crows Do not set an individual course Individual action is impossible Melanesian mind is static- incapable of breaking new ground Follow tradition Seen as slaves to custom Belief that everything in their culture had to be borrowed from someone else because they were incapable of creating anything for themselves Idea that religions were based on fear and this fear dominated people’s lives Pacific Islanders Fear and unnatural suspicion Paralyzed with fear Europeans are far more advanced Constant fear of death and witchcraft Idea that religious rules as exclusively prohibitive Local religions were seen as immoral Followed them out of fear, rather than positive motivations With Europeans around, people were fearful that they would violate religious taboos and put them in danger Some missionaries purposefully desecrated shrines and religious sites and got their converts to do the same The fear that is seen in European accounts comes from fear of European disruption in their culture A lot of missionaries got their information from people who converted- those that are not inclined to give positive accounts of their tribal religion Ideas about Tribal Religions Ancestral spirits are also protectors The concern of following taboos is also about respect, not just fear of them People love their ancestors in important ways A lot of taboos are difficult to violate on accident- must try to violate them Spirits are viewed as active member of the community Taboos are often markers of identity- you are linked to that particular spirit Taboos also mark people’s social status Some plants and animals may be taboo in the sense that some people or all people at a certain time cannot eat them In many societies, some food is seen as unclean to eat Pork Taboo Often viewed as illogical Marvin Harris- materialist explanation for biblical pork taboo Stress how the cultural practice is useful or have some beneficial effect in a practical sense Pigs were too ecologically expensive to raise in the Middle East
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Raising animals for food is inefficient in any society that is strapped for resources Have to feed animal with crops before eating Pigs are pretty much only good for food- not like cattle and cannot be used for labor Only significant return from a pig is from eating them
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