Some of the articles you will need to read more than once to get at the key points and data. Your Note and Assignments packet has information that will help you contextualize the readings. Keep in mind93
that in college the goal is to develop the ability to read critically and in-depth. Have fun with your readings, work to relate them to the questions that you have about this life and world. 94
Chapter 1- The Anthropological Study of Religion pg. 11. Why is man’s life hard according to William Howells? What are all humans confronted with? Can we explain the four horsemen with religion and/or science? What data and reasoning is used in science and in religion to answer our questions about the difficulties of human lives?2. What kind of data can be used to determine when humans first had religion? Is this data absolute or speculative? Which of the four fields of anthropology can be used to answer this question (NP Key Anthropological Terms and Concepts has info on the 4 fields)?3. There are different speculations as to the origins of religion. How does functionalism analyze the utilitarian value of religion (NP see functionalism)? State at least two functions that religion serves for humans. 4. Identify the key changes that have taken place in human lives with the transition from a traditional lifestyle to the adoption of agriculture as a way of life? (NP History and Context of Anthropological Studies)5. The idea that religion arose out of humans need for comfort in the face of difficult, uncertain circumstances would serve a psychological or sociological function of religion? What is the difference between thetwo functions?6. What was Freud’s view of religion? Did he see it as fulfilling a psychological or sociological function? (NP Early Theories of Religion)7. Did Durkheim see religion as fulfilling a psychological or sociologicalfunction ? (NP Early Theories of Religion). What was his reasoning for his view of religion?8, What is the nature of the anthropological study of religion? What approaches are taken and what theories are used (give a brief overview)? 95
9. What is animism? What are the two stages that come after animism per Taylor? (NP Tylor in Early Theories of Religion) Can these stages be seen as progressive?10. According to Howells there are key differences between the world’s modern religions and so called primitive religions. What are these differences?96
11. “there is more to life, it seems, than the secular state can encompass. People want religion and faith, many of them could hardlyimagine life without these things…” Do you agree or disagree with thisquote from your text (pg. 4 bottom)? Does this imply religion serves a psychological or societal need?12. What is the anchor of anthropological thought? How does this practice relate to being holistic?