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Unit 14 Notes

by: Camila Correia

Unit 14 Notes ANTH 1000

Camila Correia

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About this Document

These notes cover Religion and Magic
Introduction to Anthropology
Joanne Phipps
Class Notes
25 ?




Popular in Introduction to Anthropology

Popular in anthropology, evolution, sphr

This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Camila Correia on Monday April 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 1000 at East Carolina University taught by Joanne Phipps in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at East Carolina University.


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Date Created: 04/25/16
Religion and Magic Tuesday, April 19, 2016 11:36 AM Thompson Island Indians Genesis Story Science and Belief -Two key elements to science: Testable Falsifiable -What science cannot explain, belief fills the gap -Anything taken on faith that cannot be tested is a belief Religion is: -Cultural knowledge of the supernatural -Consists of a belief in the supernatural and ways with dealing or interacting with it Animatism -Belief in a supernatural impersonal force infuses all things -World exists as a balance -Foraging cultures ex: Star Wars -Based on premise of animatistic religion -Balance is essential to harmony Animism -Belief in personal supernatural forces -Ghosts and spirits -Associated with pastoralism and horticulture (kin -based cultures) -Spirits act as form of social control Polytheism -Belief in multiple deities -Agriculture -Chiefdoms -In general, gods have limitless power Polytheism -Belief in multiple deities -Agriculture -Chiefdoms -In general, gods have limitless power -God reflects chief -God specialize in one area of life Olympian Religions -Not pure polytheistic systems -Mirrors transition from chiefdom to state -Transition from true polytheism to monotheism Monotheism -Belief in single, all powerful deity -Associated with state system in industrialized societies -Hierarchy among lesser supernatural beings Interacting with Supernatural -Four basic forms: 1. Prayer 2. Physiological experience 3. Simulation 4. Divination Magic -Both belief and practice -When people can compel supernatural to act in an intended way Sorcery and Witchcraft -Consist of attempts to invoke spirits to work harm against people -Sorcery: includes use of materials, objects and medicines to invoke spirits -Witchcraft: same goal, but achieved through emotion and thought alone Types of Practitioners -Societies may have either full or part time practitioners -Connection between increase in societal complexity and types of practitioners -Focus on 4 main types: 1. Shamans -Associated with foragers and some horticultural societies -Connection between increase in societal complexity and types of practitioners -Focus on 4 main types: 1. Shamans -Associated with foragers and some horticultural societies -Part time male specialist -Primary focus is healing -High social status 2. Sorcerers/Witches -Low social status -Often found among pastoralists and agriculturalists 3. Mediums -Often female -Part time practitioners -Heal and divine while in states of spiritual possession 4. Priests -Full time male specialists -High social status -Officiate at public events -Thought to communicate with high gods that ordinary people cannot Functions of Religion -When anthropologists study religion we aim to: -Describe religions and religious practices and beliefs -Explain how they fit in the broader cultural system -Seek generalizations about the nature of religion Explanatory Function -Religion serves to answer the big WHY questions -Dramatic observable events -Natural disasters -Everyday phenomenon -Birth and death Integrative Function -Serves to create and reinforce social cohesion -Provides safe community and builds morale Validative Function -Closely tied to social control Integrative Function -Serves to create and reinforce social cohesion -Provides safe community and builds morale Validative Function -Closely tied to social control -Related to Marxism "Religion is the Opiate of the Masses" -Religion acts as social control by validating one's lot in life Revitalization Movements -In times of rapid social change, practices not as effective in maintaining social stability -Aim to either restore old ways or create new social order -Usually associated with charismatic leader


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