ANT OF RELIGION
ANT OF RELIGION RELI 4640
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Popular in Religion
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Date Created: 09/12/15
ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION hinted at or directly stated it may be on an exam August 15th Anthropology 0 Anthropology Greek anthropos man logos discourse o Explains 0 Human origin evolution 0 Human similarities and differences 0 History of Anthropology o Developed in the 19 h century 0 FounderFather Edward Tylor seeAUGUST 22quotd and DEFINITIONS OF RELIGION o Studied to understand quotprimitive peoples I Terms like primitivebarbaric no longer used because they re ethnocentric Beginnings of Anthropology o A backdrop of Transformations o Modernization 17 h century growth of nation states Lots of technological innovations 0 Industrial Revolution 1819 h century Went from agricultural to factory economy which meant a demand for raw materials Manual labor switched for machinery cheap labor and markets consumerism O O Mercantilism fueled imperialism and colonization 1819 h century Europeans got in contact with lots of different people I Economic competition for control over nonindustrialized areas of the world eg East India Co India controlled by a company rather than the crown I Control achieved by territorial conquest colonization o Enlightenment intellectual movement 18 h century I Social progress evolution based on reason and moral principles used as justification for colonization and imperialism I Civilizing mission called the white man s burden that being to get everyone else up to date with modern society 0 These changes resulted in 0 Cultural contact Meeting new peoples lead to curiosity about quotothersquot and has people asking I Is everyone like us I Why is development not universal 0 Culture Shock physical social and moral differences shocking 0 First stage of Anthropology developsarmchair anthropology Based on ethnological texts of travelers missionaries colonial administrators work with No fieldwork Notable contributors include I Travels of Marco Polo 13 h century I James Frazer The Golden Bough A study of magic and religion 1890 Subfields of Anthropology 0 Physical 0 Studies the evolution of man looks at fossils diseases very vast field Primarily human remains Ex Forensic Anthropology digging up mass graves o Archaeology 0 Physical remains of human culture artifacts o Linguistic o The study of culture through language I Ex 70 words for beer in Munich means it s a significant part of their culture There are even stories about beer gardens 0 Cultural o Focuses on cultural variations We re doing this talking about religion 0 Applied 0 Applying ideas to solve modern problems ex ecology climate change Focus is exclusively on using to solve problems Core Anthropological Concept 0 Holistic 0 Viewing culture and connected ideas as a whole 0 quotThe whole is more than the sum of its partsquot ie anthropology is interdisciplinary historical global comparative and comprehensive aka important to look at other things like history that connects to religious texts 0 Cultural Relativism o interpreting culture through its beliefs and values 0 opposite of ethnocentric or having a sense of cultural superiority 0 an individual s beliefs and activities should be interpreted in terms of his or her culture I ex ln US more selfcontained so you need less languages in Europe there are less boundaries so you need more 0 Culture 0 All human behavior that is learned not genetically transmitted 0 Culture is the way people organize their lives and adapt to their environment I Ex Polyandry system needed in other places because of limited resources it reduces the number of children prevents fragmentation of land makes the house more economically stable 0 Ethnography 0 Means many different things 0 A research method that relies on participant observation or fieldwork o BronislawMilinoski 18841942 First person to do ethnography o ParticipantObservation o Observing describing analyzing or quotthe long soakquot immersion You become part of soak in the culture to understand it o IndigenousAnthropology 0 We ve talked about anthropology being a western discipline but now there s a new breed of indigenous anthropologis15anthropologists that are native to the culture they re studying They bring a different understanding to the material 0 Re exivity 0 Looking at the rest of the world and then looking at our own to understand our own culture better Anthropology is used not just to see others but ourselves 0 Cultural Relativism o interpreting culture through its beliefs and values 0 opposite of ethnocentric or having a sense of cultural superiority 0 an individual s beliefs and activities should be interpreted in terms of his or her culture 0 ex n US more selfcontained so you need fewer languages In Europe less boundaries so you need more Ethnocentric to assert Americans need to know more languages 0 ex Dental care beauty very different in many areas of the world In some it s beautiful to have black teeth Many people think it s odd that Americans invest so much timemoney in dental care August 17th Selected chapters for groups amp group contributions August 20th Homework 0 Define religionmagic in class 0 Look up methodological agnosticism and see what Bowie theorist that came up with it presumably has to say about it 0 Tell which of the approaches to religion mentioned above you re closest to What is quotreligionquot 0 There s a lot of ambiguity about how religion is defined as well as why religion exists how it came into existence and therefore there are many definitions 0 Word comes from 0 Latin quotreligioquot ie pious andor the verb quotreligarequot or to bind fast 0 Religion as a noun comes from French in the 16 h17 h century 0 Some cultures do not have one term that is the same as the Western notion of religion eg I Chinese tsungchiao translates to quota doctrine of faith I Hindu dharma means quotlow Anthony Wallace 1966 quotThe Noisome Bogquot meaning that it s pointless to try and define religion I writes that we must quotconsider the problem of the origin of religion as a prerequisite but if we do we soon quotbecome mired in a noisome 0 De nitions of Religion 0 Tyler animism Religion is a belief in spiritual beings o Unilinear Evolutionary schemes I Tylor1871 Primitive Culture Animism belief in soul that is present in themselves and other things like animals and interested in their lives Believed that as society advanced went from Animism spirits 9 Polytheism multiple Gods 9 Monotheism 1 God 0 we no longer believe in thissocial evolution 0 This was created in response to Degeneration prevalent biblical explanation for cultural diversity popular believe in 1871 It states that I Predestruction of Tower of Babel all people belonged to a single civilization I Postdestruction God created differences in language dispersed people I Some degenerated lost civilization became savage I Frazer 1922 The Golden Bough 0 Human belief progresses through three stages 0 primitive magic 9 replaced by religion and later science Durkheim sociology Religion is solidaritycommunitysociety o Malinoski1939 Religion is a way to overcome fear anxiety and uncertainty 0 This is a functionalist approach coping mechanism Marx Religion is ideology opiate of masses Geerlz Religion is a system opiate of the masses of symbols Asad Religion is a historically produced discourse replies to what s happening at the time reflects historical context WhyHow did religion come into existence 0 Archaeological Evidence of religion 0 O O Neanderthals I Existed from 50000030000 yea rs ago I The Neanderthal Range area they lived in was most of Europe I We have a lot of fossil evidence for Neanderthals I Neanderthals apparently had red hair Neanderthal Burials I La Chapelle France indicates that neanderthals had a set of burial practices 0 The head is always aligned to West body in fetal position 0 Around the body there are several burned animal bonesofferings of food 0 So there s a sense of ritual and probably a feast 0 They probably also had some sense ofa soul and transition So likely they were probably trying to ease the soul through the transition 0 Beyond the sense of the soul there was probably also the idea of an afterlifeseeNEANDERTHAL CAVE BEAR CULT Neanderthal Cave Bear Cult In Dracheloch Dragon s Cave Emil Bachlerfound what he thought was a cave that indicated Neanderthals worshipped cave bears This animal is extinct now but was around while Neanderthals were The bones were thought to be arranged into patterns so he thought it was ritual since the arrangement couldn t occur naturally This led to speculation that there was a cave bear cult and rituals centered around the cave bear However this was done by an amateur archeologists I Side note about archeology archeology attracts a lot of amateurs Therefore it s hard to confirm who did what right thus all the hoaxes 0 Ex Frenchman Henri Breuil discovered cave paintings of what appeared to be antelope He said what he saw was llthe SorcererShamanquot mistaking the antelope for a human being dressed as an antelope It s probably just an antelope So this is seen as an extrapolation 0 Law of Similarities The idea that if you draw something like an antelope they ll come to the area This theory is used to explain what Neanderthals reasoning behind cave paintings So evidence supporting a cave bear cult wasn t recorded processed correctly Ian Tattersal states their methods were wrong and there were unwarranted inferences Therefore there are lots of questions about what happened to the bones they could have been washed by water if water was present in the cave into a certain position I It is not however impossible that there was a bear cult In Japan they have religious practices around bears They capture the baby bears and sacrifice them o All in all We know there were burial rituals we don t know whether there was a cave bear cult o Theories about when religion emerged o Neolithic Revolution proposed by Gordon Childe the birth of agriculture states agriculture led to religion old argument It I Was a transition from huntergather to farmer I made life more specialized people focused on things besides hunting and gathering I made economies very different because it I led to people taking up trades o Klaus Schmidt developed a newer theory that sacred spaces led to human settlement around these locations and the development of agriculture I In other words this theory means it was religion that led to Neolithic movement I Schmidt discovered an arrangement of statues a la Stonehenge GobekliTepe constructed by a group of foragers that he draws his theory from o G6bekliTepe Turkey 9000 BCE oldest known example of monumental architecture Precedes Great Pyramids and Stonehenge by 7000 years 0 This led to a divide between the human realm and dangerous land beyond it This led to a 0 Revolution of Symbols Jacques Cauvin belief that the above prompted a change in consciousness that allowed humans to imagine godssupernatural beings that existed in a universe beyond the physical world Schmidt thought his theory supported Cauvin s ideas Religion is a cultural construct In the anthropological View religion is a creation of man that varies in ways that are congruent with the conditions of life of each society Norbeck 1974 Religions are universal yet different Cultures are universal yet different 0 Culture is the way humans organize their lives and adapt to their environment quotKangaroo of Godquot Lamb of God Example of Religion s tie to culture why lambs are associated with Christianity 0 Lambs are associated with the emergence of Christianity in the Middle East where lambs are common So it s natural that an animal in that culture would emerge in that culture Kangaroo not used because not culturally connected and shows that culturereligion reflective of environment 0 There s a kangaroo tribe in Australia however which has the kangaroo as its totem Kangaroos are ritually sacrificed despite totems usually not being sacrificed It was done to draw kangaroos to that area Characteristics of Religion 0 Religion is a cultural universal o It includes the belief in quotsupernatural beings and powers 0 Involves ritualistic behavior Approaches to Religion 0 Theology 0 About religion from within a particular faith position 0 Theologian believer and practitioner anthropologist has more distance 0 Religious Studies 0 Secular study of religious beliefs behaviors traditions and institutions 0 Textual traditions vs fieldwork tradition o Scholar need not be a believer 0 Anthropology 0 Religious facts are part of a larger social and cultural whole takes a holistic approachnot reductionist 0 Not interested in truthfalsity claims methodological agnosticism o Beliefs are sociological facts not theological facts 0 Scholar need not be a believer but could become one The more you study religion the more you empathize with the beliefs I ExAmbrose EvansPritchard Studied the zombie 305405 colonial period Sees light he can t explain people in area he s at say it s a witch He can t explain it there are no lights around bright enough to make such a light so he goes quotwell maybe this is a rational beliefand explains why I saw this light August 22nd Positionality Where you state the background you re coming from instead of pretending to be neutral Reading for class Religion in Primitive Cultureby Edward Burnett Tylor pa rt of Primitive Culture 1871 0 Uses a lot of ethnocentric language primitive barbaric savage etc Examines the idea that religion is quotthe belief in Spiritual Beingsquot and uses a unilinear social Evolutionary scheme 0 Symbols of 19 h century England markers for modern English village scissors matches bound books At the time these inventions were novel So they represented modernity 0 Comparative Edward Burnett Tylor author Father of social anthropology 0 History 0 Quaker This influenced his writing because I Anticlericalantimissionary Quakers don t have clergy God speaks through individual Believed religion characterized by increasing rationality primitivequot religions had a rational basis and were not quotgrotesquequot or quotunintelligiblequot like others such as Morgan believed I Monotheism Social evolution schemata reflects Quaker believe in monotheism one God I Monogenesis Believed all human races belonged to the same species and had the same evolutionary origins monogenesis o Held a position in 1883 at Balliol College Oxford University I First person to hold a position for anthropology but was unable to establish it as a discipline during his time or get a permanent position 0 Keeper of the Oxford Museum important position 0 Knighted so he s Sir Edward Burnett Tylor 0 Contributions 0 Founder of cultural anthropology I Armchair anthropologist Did not believe it was necessary for anthropologists to be involved in data collection 0 Also contributed a lot to the field of religion 0 Gave us the kinship terms I Teknonymy referring to a person through their child quotThe mother ofquot I Crosscousin marriage 0 Wrote Primitive Culture 0 Defined culture and the definition is still used and widely quoted quotCulture is that complex whole which includes knowledge belief art morals law custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society General Beliefs Ideas present in Tylor s work 0 Misc 0 Says the student will judge things ethnocentrically o Believed some people had more culture some had less culture 0 Comparative looked at different data from different societies not fieldwork 0 Religion in Primitive Culture O 0 Religion belief in spiritual beings o Animism doctrine of spiritual beings see ANIMISM I States other cultures capable of having an idea of a soul 0 Religion is a cultural construct devised by human reason without supernatural aid or revelation Adhesions Correlations 0 Statistical methods ethnography social arithmetic o This means that if two or more cultural traits customsinstitutions are repeatedly found in association are are made to wondering whether we re dealing with a chance combination or if there s a correlation I Ex Avoidance of inIaws If you don t have soninIawdaughterinIaw inpost marital residence rules 0 MatrilocaIpatrilocal which you live with I So when you have patrilocal it s a patriarchal society FatherinIaw supposed to avoid daughter in law So if daughterinIaw comes to live with she has to cover her face Connected to incest taboo culturally constructed idea of modesty FatherinIaw seen as possible sexual mate so they have to avoid contact so nothing happens Belief in shared traits o Psychic unity of humankind all human beings regardless of culture or race share the same basic psychological and cognitive makeup Adolf Bastian Franz Boas s teacher Belief in quotSurvivalsquot primitive traits in advanced societies that remain o Witch s Ladder used for getting away the milk from the neighbors cows 0 Tylor s Onions In England Tylor saw an onion pricked with pins hanging from an iron wire labeled with a name kind of like a voodoo doll He left this to a museum This is in England despite being England being quotadvancedquot So England still has this quotprimitive trait called a survival I This is a type of sympathetic magic doing harm to someone by harming something that is like them Animism quottheory of the universal animation of nature 0 O O The most basic definition of religion Argues that can still be found in modern religions Includes individual souls that live on after death animates them and other spirits So two different ideas of souls individuals and spirits like deities Ideas about the soul Tylor has 0 Animism quotDoctrine of the soul Provides a psychic unity of mankind The idea of the soul is present in every society it s just different in every society So it brings O Critiques onylor O O O 0 up the question what s the difference between a living body and a dead one Tylor says the difference is the living one has life I If you combine living and being dead togetherbetween stage presumably you have the idea of the ghostsoul both are separate from the body Here are other the words for souls atman among quotlower races he s using sandscript terms I Breath parana for many breath soul I Shadow Etoro or reflection shadow capable of walking away from a person at night in many cultures I Vapor similar to breath I Light Azande EvansPreic Anyone can be a witch and you might not even know you re a witch You just steal souls As one does I Ghost I Witch I Heart Heartbeat I Nonlocal consciousness modern society there s a part of you that can exist independently of your body like your mind capable of traveling in sleep Often talked about in near death experiences For example in out of body experiences you often see yourself from floating position LevyBruhl 1910 critiqued the psychic unity of humankind Opposite of tylor Provided an alternative view to rationalism opposite of Tylor ie primitives are neither rational nor wrong Formal rules of logic that governed rational thought did not apply to simpler societies August 24th Reading for class The Elementary Forms of Religious Life by Emile Durkheim Tylor comparative looked at different data from different societies not fieldwork Durkheim case study approach no fieldwork no comparing of Australian Aborigines 0 Case study take one society and do indepth study of Durkheim 18581917 0 French 0 Jewish Dreyfuss Affair o Fathergrandfather were rabbi long line of them in family 0 He was agnostic o DreyfussAffair An officer named Dreyfuss in the French army was convicted of espionage Many Jewish scholars believed the same and that he was being scapegoated This led to a divide within the nation of pro and antiDreyfuss camps I Durkheim was proDreyfuss Some of his own students would shout out names at him because of Impacted how he wrote and his views on religion 0 Wrote o Suicide The Rules of Sociological Method The Division of Labor in Society about solidarity o The Elementary Forms ofReIigious Lifeabout religion considered his best and most mature work 0 Influenced x who wrote about 0 Mauss gift potlatch Hertz right handed vs left handed societies LeviStrauss totemism O O o Structuralfunctionalists 0 Mary Douglas symbolic o Eliadesacredprofane o Died at end of WW1 supposedly of a broken heart 0 Most of his students as well as his son died in it 0 People leave stones on his grave Leaving stones marks as a place as sacred I There used to be no headstones so people left stones marked places priests had to avoid because they would be polluted if they stepped on them I In Jewish tradition you leave stones instead of flowers I Leaving stones is also popular in other traditions Also you can make a wish by making piles of stones Speaking of traditions slightly offtopic but interesting Lover s padlocks Popular in Korea although it comes from Italy where Romeo and Juliet is based Started from book written about Rome Two lovers put their initials on a padlock throw the key in the river and leave the padlock on the bridge of a river In France padlocks are being removed because lamp posts are collapsing with sheer number of them Peers There were many people writing at the time therefore lots of crosspollination of ideas 0 Anthropology 0 Louis Henry Morgan US 18181881 0 Tyler AusUK Animismfather of cultural anthropology 18541941 o Boas American father of anthro o Malinowski founder of field work method poluk 1884 o Other 0 Darwin 0 Marx I Marx wrote very little on religion but his position is similar to Durkheim s o Freud G Weber Important Terms introduced to us by Durkheim See de nitions below 0 Social Facts 0 Collective conscienceconsciousness 0 Religion amp magic 0 Sacred amp profane o Totemism Social Facts 0 Defines sociology as the study of quotsocial fac1quot which are essentially normsmores 0 Social Facts quotevery way of acting fixed or not capable of exercising on the individual an external constraint I Ex greeting in American society it s not a norm to bow when you greet someone Meanwhile in other cultures people even bow while on phone because so used to doing it 0 Social facts can only be explained by other social facts I ie cannot be reduced to biological or psychological facts 0 Everyone shares social facts because they are collective can explain it through collective consciousness I Ex if you grow up in American society you share other social facts because they re culturally bound Collective conscienceconsciousness Durkheim asks what allows for quotsocial solidarity or social cohesion o Collective conscienceconsciousness a system of shared beliefs eg religion 0 Religion provides a form of social cohesion Its function is to unite members of a society through the creation of a common consciousnessconscience conscience collective O Societies go from ban gt tribe gt chiefdom gt state I Ban Simple societies ban are tried together through kinship So you must ask what keeps bigger groups together Tribe Traditionalsmall scale societies tribes are tied together through mechanical solidarity homogeneityquotlikenessquot 0 Ex may believe in same totem State In states there are no longer kinship ties and people are very different Lots of heterogeneity What s thought to keep them together is everyone s dependence on everyone else organic solidarity o Modernindustrial societies have organic solidarity or interdependence 0 People perform different functions We all have very different jobs do different things some teachers some grow food etc Religion vs Magic quotGod is society writ large 0 Religion is the study of society Believed that the study of religion is a study of society same position as Marx 0 He rejected any definition of religion in terms of the supernatural o Durkheim sought the origins of religion in society rather than in the individual human mind So he isn t interested in the individual like Freud just the collective 0 Because of his belief that religion is the study of society he takes an approach free of ethnocentrism and states that I There are no religions that are false and he makes no value judgments I There s no religion that can be right or wrong Religions cannot be ranked all fulfill the same needs play the same role and proceed from the same causes So I All religions are to be respected 0 so he s very much like modern anthropologists who take this approach to society this is key to the anthropological perspective 0 quotHe should be praised for countering the ethnocentrism of his contemporaries that is the arrogant dismissal of non Western cultures as primitive quot Tyler Graham 0 Defined religion as o a unified set of beliefs opinion and practices ritesaction relative to sacred things I Says religion is a system of ideas that we use to imagine society this is what s behind the idea that religion is a social construct 0 that unite all who adhere to them into one single moral community called a church I in other words beliefs and practices unite everyone who believes practices into a single moral community called a church 0 the church is where the collective arc comes together church is the collective 0 Therefore religion is an eminently social thing inseparable from the church I Believed religion was inseparable from the church I the objective universal and eternal cause of those sui generis independent sensations of which religious experience is made is society 0 Sui generis phenol can t be explained by another 0 Therefore magic is not religion because there is no church of magic Magic is practiced individually I Durkheim sought the origins of religion in society rather than in the individual human mind Ergo magic is not a real religion because he believes religion has to be collective I Magic sees that shaman is only one really present while in a church the community is more involved Sacred amp Profane I Where he s most influential I Religion always involves a distinction between things that are sacred and things that are profane 0 Sacred that which is set apart protected and isolated by prohibitions I Ex rules to observe in places ex be quiet in church different clothes Idea of the threshold many ways of acknowledging people take shoes off you mark that in different ways 0 Profane things to which prohibitions are applied and that must keep at a distance from what is sacred Applies to most mundane life Totemism I Is the most elementaryoriginal form of religionSimplest most primitive archaic o Totem a term of Ojibwa origin a mythical ancestor usually a plant or animal that symbolizes a particular group such as a clan or tribe I Ex a Kangaroo is a totem They can be anything considered a mythical ancestor o Durkheim believes that totemism is essentially not about the totemic entity animal plant etc but the clan itself as symbolized by the totem Therefore the sacred reality is actually the clan itself Misc I The gods also need man without offerings and sacrifices hey would diequot I Rite of intensification Rituals that produce intense emotions and bonding or social effervescence Rites that bring together the community Social Effervescence something that produces studies through Dreyfuss Affair feelings of unity collective Sees rituals as the same Sense of us vs them I Voluntarytribequot A tribe people join that fulfills a tribal religious appetite Matt Stelmack A voluntary tribe recreates community us vs them 0 Ex Dreyfuss affair is the creation of voluntary tribes 0 Ex quotBulldog Nationquot might be considered this and Uga mascot a totem Critique of Durkheim I What if the community isn t an integrated whole I Very often descending voices and theories not taken into account Limitations 0 Overemphasizes the functional aspect of religion 0 Ahistorical approach August 27th Reading for class The Protestant Ethic amp the Spirit of Capitalist by Max Weber Weber 0 German sociologist o Taught at University of Berlin in Freigburg Heidelberg Vienna and Munich o Intellectualinfluences 0 Mother Reformed Protestantism and Benjamin Franklin Puritan o Marx Idea about social change but not monocausality Weber states that monocausality is quotnaive historical materialism or that ideas originate as a reflection of economic situations 0 Influenced by his feminist wife 0 His focus is not on society 0 Personally apathetic towards religion Key Concept Associated With Him 0 Protestant Ethic Work hard get an education be thrifty and live frugally defer gratification save and invest 0 Spirit of Capitalism Ideas and habits that favor the rational pursuit of economic gain 0 Ideal types abstractions essential to understanding eg quotworldrejecting asceticism quotinner worldly asceticism or rational asceticism 0 Ex idea of ideal types ban gt tribe gt chiefdom gt state 0 Ex worldrejecting asceticism monks rejectingwithdrawing from world vs inner wordly asceticism live frugally but within society 0 Charismatic leader routinization eg Calvin People respect draw inspiration from and then their ideas become routinized in religion 0 Verstehen German for understandingquot you understand the context ofa phenomenon instead of trying to explain it General 0 He does not define religion 0 Instead he looks at how religion functions as a medium for social change by looking at the relationship between religion and economicpolitical pursuits 0 quotreligious have39 quot Ithe 39 39 I ofeconomic culture Protestant Ethic PE amp the Spirit of Capitalism Weber calls a quotpretentious phrase Spirit of Capitalism quotthe earning of more and more money combined with the strict avoidance of all spontaneous enjoyment of lifequot Reformation 1517 bad Sold salvation 0 Martin Lutherdid not like people selling a free gift of god unmediated by the church John Calvinreform protestant builds upon Martin Luther s ideas doctrine of double predestination ie God chooses some people for salvation through election and others for damnation through reprobation o Calvinist Doctrine of quotunknowable electionquot states that some are elected to heaven others are condemned to hell This is preordained by god and is not knowable or changeable I Material success through quotinnerworldly asceticism deferring gratification in thislife is seen as a sign of god s favor So being good with your business is a sign that God likes you and you re going to heaven Protestant Ethic is a psychological consequence of the above doctrine and key to modern capitalism 0 So Weber is the opposite of Marx And believes religion can spur social change I Marx believed religion is a reflection of the economic structure He is not monocausal He believes that Calvinism is only one factor in the development of capitalism He states there s a quotcomplex interaction of innumerable different historical factors 0 Other things that led to development of capitalism I Scholarship and scientific pursuit jurisprudence bureaucracy I Increasingrationality I Declining belief in magic Wonders why capitalism didn t develop in China and India 0 Confucianism filial piety ancestor worship and Hinduism caste system karma were barriers to capitalism I Caste system your place in society is fixed I Karma what you sow you reap so your next life can be awesome if you live a good life Calvinism in US vs other places 0 United States the pursuit of wealth is stripped of its religious and ethical meaning and tends to become associated with mundane passions which often actually gives it the character of sport I Primitive Baptists believe in Unconditional Election that God elects predestines certain people for eternal life This is not conditioned on individual merit but on God s grace They reject double predestination ie the damnation part The nonelect are simply left to their fallen state they stay here in US Cockfight cultural system most elaborate system found cited 500 times between 19661996 Hard to talk about anth of religion without Geertz August 2 9th Reading for class Religion as a Cultural System 1966 by Clifford Geertz Pa rt of The Interpretation of Culture 0 Also Deep Playquot is from this book one of the most important works in cultural anthropology Clifford Geertz 2006 0 American anthropologist 0 Didn t start as anthropologist Advisor told to go to Harvard Anioch He was sent to collect data in Indonesia 0 Very influenced by Weber Durkheim Tylor Boez o Conducts fieldwork in Java amp Bali Indonesia Morocco 0 quotAs improbably and as casually as we his wife and him had become anthropologists and just as innocently as we became Indonesianists this quote indicates he basically stumbled into studying everything 0 Islam Balinese Hinduism 0 He states there are various forms of beliefs in Islam three levels Moves from Islam to Balinese to Hinduism in study 0 Interpretiveanthropologist 0 Best seen in Deep Play Notes in the Balinese Cockfight 1973 Says you can read cultural practices as quottextsquot and analysis them in that way I Thick Description when anthropologists look at action by interpreting what they see in the context of the culture 0 just what the devil the natives think they are up toquot Though he can t get inside their heads he can watch them and interpret 0 Ex interpreting cock in context of culture In piece he and wife arrive in Bali and try to talk and make friends No one talks to them So he decides to attend to attend a cockfight despite it being illegal They go to village square where everyone is gathered Someone says police is coming they run He and wife look around and go when in Romequot and also run They whip out a table cloth sit around pretending to drink tea Villagers defend them they were there the whole time and the next day the villagers are friendly with them This was their in o Cock has some innuendos as in English Cockfight functions on multiple levels Represents kinship certain rules about how you can place bets if family is involved you can t place a bet against and have to support family member Other rules include that only men can engage in this activity So he s looking at the context When you look at what this means in their context that s thick description 0 Takes the term from Ryle quotthis is how you can tell ifa twitch is a twitch or a wink Shows you how to interpret that wink De nition Problem A religion is a system of symbols that creates realistic moods and motivations in humans by formulating ideas about a general order of existence and giving them an aura of factuality in ritual O context very is very important by understanding symbols we understand religion He defines religion in five steps A system of symbols which act to establish 0 Symbol an arbitrary unit of meaning in other words has no universally recognized meaning can mean different things to people in different cultures Ex swastika in India and East generally on the entrance and held in associated with sacred vs white supremacy symbol in Germany Very different cultural meanings I Symbolic learning is unique to humans First representations of this are pictures of animals in caves For Geertz they were quotextrinsicquot amp a cultural construct learned I Geertz was not interested in hidden symbolic meaning for individuals like Freud but shared cultural understanding I Public symbols are observable which private are not Religious symbols convey meaning about our Religion is a system of symbols that establish powerful pervasive and longlasting moods and motivations o Convey meaning about 0 Worldview how the world is o Ethos who we live or ought to live 0 Excross as an example of a symbol If you see a cross at a rally you would assume it s a religious rally Powerful pervasive and longlasting moods and motivations in me O Supposed to persuade us Religion establishes certain dispositions in people I Moods the way we respond to and feel about the world I Motives things we aspire to the values we hold I Ex the cross can communicate many messages like a selfdenying way of life o By formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and 0 Religion formulates conceptions of a general order of existence I The cross formulates ideas about 0 God s sacrifice and love for humankind 0 Victory over sin and death 0 In crises religious symbols make pain endurable because they affirm that there are answers even if we don t understand them Ex god is testing them such as in this example 0 Ex sacred lake and getting very polluted People started developing rashes and things One guy said he bathed in the lake no matter what He stated that lake is a form of god and god changed his form to test us 0 Clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that o How do people come to accept the world view presented by religion I By acting out and participating in religious rituals 0 Ex the cross as a symbol during lent and easter Hotcross buns easter time pagan tradition that was incorporated said it was ok to eat but only on certain occasions like easter and lent o Pagan to Christian symbol 0 Ex the crucifixions in Cutud Phlippines I quotnot merely a spectacle to be watched but a ritual to be enactedquot 0 Rangda queen of witches described as quotwasted old widow prostitute eater of infants a satanic imagequot 0 Barong cross between a bear silly puppy and a strutting dragon 0 Used to I Create fear I Show good can triumph realistic mood I Establish general order good and evil show life is a struggle between the two I Perform says good can overcome I Not a performance but a ritual Actors go into state of trance 0 Religion makes the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic 0 Religious symbols and ritual send us back into everyday life convinced our worldview and way of life are good I Thus sends us back thinking all is well confirms worldviewway of life 0 Religious symbols and rituals are the foundation of what we call common sense I Even a saint doesn t live in religious moment all the time we go in and out So enactment relates it to reality makes it realistic 0 Ex ritual that confirms this w participation video in class The study of religion could be a two stage operation 0 Analyze system of meaning embodied within religious symbols 0 Relates these systems to social structures and psychological processes 0 Says studiers of these focus on the second this one too much Not enough on the first which is more ethnographic First have to analysis the system of meaning Ex Barong and Rangda formulate these ideas by 0 Lion symbolizes struggle against evil forces of the world 0 Companion monkey o Antagonist Rangda who wields dark magic August 31 Reading for class The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category 1966 by TalalAsad in the book Genealogies of Religion TalalAsad 0 Had AustrianJewish father who converted to Islam His mother was the second wife and Saudi Arabian Muslim o Raised in British India now called Pakistan 0 Went to Oxford New School CUNY 0 He was a student of EvansPritchard and did fieldwork in Sudan like EvansPritchard Studied the nomadic Kababish Arabicblack camel hunters o Writes on Islam and postcolonialism cultural legacy of colonialism o Poststructuralist and you can see from influence by Michel Foucault o Wrote tons of books with a big focus on Islam and suicide bombing o Paradigm shift to poststructuralist reflects the shift in anthropology I This was a shift from defining what religion was to how it works Focuses o Thinks it s essential to study both culture AND history 0 Focused on particular histories o Paradigm shift from symbolic to poststructuralist anthropologists at one point focused on culture and not so much history of 0 Power a uniquely poststructuralist idea Who says what fits into religion and what doesn t 0 He says religion is the connection between history and power Critique on Geertz o Says we have constructed religion in a certain way 0 Religion as it has been historically constructed in anthropology owes a great deal to Christian theological discourse and religious practices o In the 1960s there was a tendency within anthropology to understand a culture as fundamentally textual or a system of symbols where the job of the anthropologist is to decipher the symbols I This is a direct critique of Geertz 0 He doesn t like Geertz s definition because it s 0 universalist when you do this you get stuck in identifying essences your definition is limited by this 0 transhistorical he thinks it needzmoar history I not ahistorical as it does not neglect history I but it transcends historical bounds I lacks historical specificity does not explore concrete sets of historical relations and processes 0 Le history has no part to play in its formation He reformulates this into 0 You can t make a universal definition and he believes it s impossible to define religion 0 quotthere cannot be a definition of religion which is universally viable religion is historically produced reproduced and transformed Asad 0 Instead religion is a product of specific practices of discipline authority and power Power 0 Power interpreted in multiple ways power sanctions etc 0 Many times this goes beyond beliefs 0 All these things fall under category of power 0 Laws imperial amp ecclesiastical o Sanctions hellfire death salvation good repute pillar of the church peace 0 Disciplinary activities family saying grace school city church I Can be found in different levels of society family city Yhave to go to church on certain days I These make up what you re like 0 Individual bodies will discuss more with heertz The body learns to do things in a certain way Ex fasting prayer penance o Discourses ofinclusionexclusion authorizing discourses Ex rejecting quotpagan practices likehot cross buns So he asks can religion and power be separated o quotThe Muslim assumption is that religion and power cannot be separated The idea of separation comes from the Christian tradition and is a modern Western norm the product of a unique post Reformation history Asad o Idea that it can be separated comes from martin Luther s doctrine of the two kingdoms of god I Two Kingdoms of Gods God is the ruler of the whole world rules in two ways 0 Earthly lefthand kingdom secular government by means of law sword o Heavenly righthand kingdom spiritual kingdom through gospel or grace 0 Therefore answer is no 0 Says that when the jewish were no longer the quototherquot the other had to be filled by someone else it s now Muslim New order Public symbolsprivate meaning The study of public symbols makes sense because they observable recordable and analyzable while private meanings beliefs are unobservable You can t get individual beliefs out of this even though symbols are important 0 Religious symbols cannot be understood independently of their relations with non religious quotsymbolsquot They are intimately linked to social life and so change with it and they usually support dominant power I So to see how it supports dominant power look at what it symbolizes for issue of power 0 Asad therefore objects to a view of culture hovering above social reality divorced from processes of formation and effects of power Religion Power 0 So he asks how does power create religion 0 To figure this out I We can t make abstract statements but look at history 0 We ask what historical conditions are eg movements ideologies necessary for the existence of particular religious practices and discourse Commonalities between Geer11 and Asad 0 Both believe religion is a construct through symbols historical discourse o Geerlz symbols 0 Asad historical discourses Geertz s reply 0 Asad has a point religion is hard to sum up 0 quotstudying religion is not and never has been a single bordered learnable and teachable sum upable thing Overview 0 Not interested in defining religion especially not in an abstract or a crosscultural way that can be applied to any society
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