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Different kinds of religious organization
- ancestral cults
- individualistic cults
- shamanistic cults
- communal cults
- ecclesiastical cults
Beliefs and rituals concerned with supernatural beings, powers, and forces.
- - can never be prove that supernatural powers or that myths about them are true
- - religious behavior may not be effective at
- achieving the goals that the performers have in mind
- - culturally universal
- - latin for "to tie to bind"
- - not necessary for all members to meet in a common body
- - helps people face death and endure life crises.
religious devotion toward a particular figure or object.
initiation rites of Nuer boys
- ritual into manhood via scarification on the face
- easily offended
- fight out disputes
witchcraft among the Azande
- they don’t belive in bad luck
- everything happens for a reason and is caused by witchcraft.
- If an individual finds out whos bewitching them they can persuade the witch to stop.
- You can be a witch without knowing it.
difference between witchcraft and sorcery
- witchcraft - use of psychic power alone
- sorcery - performance of spells/rituals
- sorcery has symbolic representation - imitative principle (voodoo dolls) and contagious principle - power comes from contact (personal objects/things)
when did religion begin?
no one knows
rite of passage
- Culturally defined activities
- transition from one stage of life to another.
- coming of age, social status, public ceremony, change in status, aging
- 3 phases:
- seperation:withdraw from ordinary society. liminality/margin:time- out”; people have left one status but haven’t yet entered the next
- incorporation/aggregation:reenter society, having completed a rite that changes their status.
functions of religion (intellectual/cognitive; psychological; social).
- intellectual/cognitive: explain the unknowable
- Psychological: helps cope with trouble and anxiety. sometimes increase in anxiety when norms broken
- social: maintain social order, social solidarity, interdependence,
- religious practitioner
- mediates between people and supernatural beings and forces.
- Called upon in times of stress and anxiety
- Goes into trances
- Most common in foraging societies
ritual benefits group as a whole
- Full-time practitioner
- performs rituals
- clear division btwn priest & layperson
- Found in state societies
- No religious specialist
- Each person has relationship w/specific power
maurtania veil practice
- Women cover heads once they reach puberty
- with a veil, mulafa
- detracts from sexual attractiveness
- signifies women's identities
- marks status, wealth, & fashion statement
- 6 yds fabric
- wrapped around body and then head except eyes
- Anthony Wallace coined term
- conscious organized effort by society to construct more satisfying culture
- Seeks to reform ALL aspects of the society
Dobe ju/hoansi supernatural explanations of misfortune
- 2 types of gwangsi - good and bad
- Ghosts of recently deceased Ju/'hoansi
- can cause misfortune to the living ("longing for the living")
ritualistic system that honors spirits of dead ancestors for the purpose of avoiding evil consequences and securing good fortune
person having authority to perform and administer religious rites.
A fundamental truth to someone
- formal, stylized, repetitive, and stereotyped behavior
- performed as a social act
- held at set times and places and have liturgical orders.