Anthropology of Religion
Nexus Kinship, Social Anthropology, Ethnicity. Biological Anthropology, Physical Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics, Anthropological Theory, Linguistic Anthropology - Psychological Anthropology, Cognitive Anthropology, Cognitive Sciences, Neurosciences, Information Sciences, Identity, Sociological Theory, Economic Anthropology, Economics, Political Anthropology, Political Science, Anthropology of Religion, Anthropology of Development, Legal Anthropology, Ethnography
Can Anthropology of religion explain religion itself, or does it cover the role of religion in explaining society? Gellner (1999: 36-7): Is there a transcultural religious sphere something like Durkhueim's or Eliade's sacred? Should all religions be interpreted in the same way? (Goody : no, literacy and written scriptures are fundamental differences compared to non-literacy religions,; Bloch: yes, all religious phenomena make use of symbolic or actual violence to conquer and domesticate fertility and vitality.)
- Classification of religion. Definition
- Alternative approaches to religion : see Religious studies
- Classification, liminality and taboo; - What are the shared beliefs and practices that impose themselves on a social group? What is the notion of obligation as a "mark of the social fact."?
- Concepts of meaning, symbols.
- The emergence of Religion as a topic in Social Sciences
- Cognitive Anthropology of Religion
- Ancestors, kinship, religion - what is meant by "ancestral religions"? are there non-ancestral religions? Difference kinship religion? Ancestor worship and relation to jural authority; Myths - as foundation for social institutions
- Spirit possession, spirit mediumship, shamanism and Witchcraft; Is shamanism a valid category? How do shamanism practices relate to environment, hunting, gender, process of healing, wider political system? what is modern shamanism?
- Ritual, history and power - the nature of ritual and different approaches to the understanding of ritual action; Johnny Parry, Maurice Bloch
- Myths & Mythology - http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/
- Funerals, death and mourning
- Asceticism and the body
- Re-enchantment of the world. Is Weber wrong? New religious movements.
- Material objects and religions, fetish.
- Christianity and influence on anthropological categories of analysis
- Relationships between the divine order and the social order;
- Religion as ideology, and the relationship between religion and the state;
- Shamanism - spirit-possession, Siberian and inner Asian Shamanism, Inuit shamanism
- Spirit cults. - Zar Spirit cults in Sudan.
- Islam -
- Popular religion
- Christianity http://biblos.com/ Excellent bible site ;
- Religion in Africa - Christian tradition - Kongo Belief, Prophetic Movements, Religious Change,
- African-American Religions - Vodou, Rastafari
- Religions in Melanesia - Kwaio Religion, Religion and Ecology, Millenarian Movements,
- Neopaganism , - Western Mystery tradition, Ritual Magic, New Age Spirituality
Thinkers in Anthropology of Religion
- [Edward Tylor]]
- James Frazer
- Arnold van Gennep
- Mircea Eliade
- Clifford Geertz
- Spiro, Melfort, 'Religion: problems of Definition and Explanation' - "an adequate explanation on the persistence of religion requires both psychological (in this instance,psycho-analytical) and sociological variables".
- Banton (ed.) Anthropologial approaches to the study of Religion
- Intellectualism - the theme of religion-as-an-explanation- if a phenomenon is common in human experience and people do not have the conceptual means to understand it, then they will try and find some speculative explanation. See Kant, Critique of Pure Reason—an examination of what we can know beyond experience—human reason is forever troubled by questions it can neither solve nor disregard. Edward Burnett Tylor and James Frazer. critique : The mistake of intellectualism was to assume that a human mind is driven by a general urge to explain.
Gellner. 1999. Anthropological Approaches in Connolly. Approaches to the Study of Religion - 35 : Tylor 'belief in spiritul beings' ; Spiro 'an institution consisting of culturally patterned interaction with culturally postulated superhuman beings.'
Geertz. 1993: 91 : (1) a system of symbols which acts to (2) establish powerful, pervaisve, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptoins with such an ura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seeem uniquely realistic. [thus stressing the importance of ritual in imparting fundamental categories (akin to Durkheim's idea of reilgion)].