Anthropology and Religion What We Know, Think, and Question

ISBN-10: 0759110468

ISBN-13: 9780759110465

Edition: 2007

Authors: Robert L. Winzeler

List price: $34.95
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Drawing from ethnographic examples found throughout the world, this book offers a general introduction to what anthropologists know or think about religion, how they have studied it, and how they have interpreted or explained it since the late nineteenth century. Winzeler's balanced consideration of classic topics, basic concepts, and new developments in the anthropological study of religion moves beyond cultural anthropology and ethnography to gather information from physical anthropology, prehistory, and archaeology. Written as a sophisticated but accessible treatment of the issues, Anthropology and Religion is a key text for upper-division courses. Book jacket.
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Book details

List price: $34.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: AltaMira Press
Publication date: 11/8/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

Preface and Acknowledgments
Anthropology and Religion
Words and Things
Is Religion a Human Universal?
The Meaning of Religion
Tylor's Definition
Do All Peoples Distinguish between "Natural" and "Supernatural"?
The Durkheimian Approach
The Anthropology of Religion
Types of Anthropological Studies of Religion
Types of Religion
Prehistoric Religion
Ancient Religions
Indigenous Religions of Small-Scale Societies
The World Religions
Religions versus Religion
References and Further Reading
Religion Here and There
Religion Is Primarily a Matter of Belief or Faith
Religion and Identity: One at a Time
Religion Is a Separate Realm of Life
Religion Is Associated with a Special Building
Religion Concerns Transcendental Rather Than Practical Matters
Practical Religion among Latin American Immigrants in Los Angeles
Religion Is the Basis of Morality
References and Further Reading
Religion, Evolution, and Prehistory
The Bio-Evolution of Religion
When Did Religion Develop?
Neanderthal Burials, Ritual Cannibalism, and Cave Bear Cults
Religion in the Upper Paleolithic in Southwestern Europe
The Origin of Religion: How It Began
Psychological and Sociological Theories
Altered States of Consciousness Explanations
Ritual as the Origin of Religion
The Nature of Early Religion
Has Religion Evolved?
The Evolution of Belief
Religion and Society
References and Further Reading
Religion, Adaptation, and the Environment
Ecological Functionalism: Naskapi Hunting Divination
Religion as a Regulator of Ecological Processes
Ritual as a Thermostat
Balinese Temples as Regulators of Irrigation Systems
Cultural Materialist Explanations of Seemingly Maladaptive Ritual Practices (Or, Solving the Riddles of Culture)
Ceremonies Can Help Populations Adapt to Available Resources: The Potlatch
Pig Hate and Pig Love
The Pig and the Spread of Islam into Southeast Asia
Religion and Environmentalism
Religion Promotes Sound Environmental Practices
Religious Beliefs and Practices That Do Not Support Good Environmental Practices
Religion and the Ecological Indian
Religion and the Decline and Collapse of Societies
The Problem of Reaching Conclusions about Religion and Adaptation
References and Further Reading
Natural Symbols
What Are Natural Symbols?
Why Animals Are Important as Symbols
Lateral Symbolism: Left- and Right-Handedness
Percussion Sounds
The Head and Its Parts
The Skull, Head-Hunting, and Scalping
The Eye
Natural Symbols and Natural Religion
References and Further Reading
Myth and Ritual, Old and New
What More Exactly Is Myth?
Theories, Approaches, and Explanations of Myth
William Robertson Smith and Myth-Ritualism
Levi-Strauss and the Structural Study of Myth
The Protagonists of Myth
The Hero
The Trickster
Trickster Animals in Japan
Myth and Gender
Contemporary Urban Myth
Rumor Myths
Government Head-Hunting and Construction Sacrifice
References and Further Reading
Ritual and Belief
The Nature of Ritual
Religious Ritual
Positive and Negative Dimensions of Ritual
Some Common Features of Religious Ritual Activity
Elementary Ritual Actions
More Complex Ritual Activity
Some Common Types of Ritual
Ritual and Time
The Structure of Ritual According to Arnold van Gennep
Journeys and Boundaries
Rites of Passage
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Coming-of-Age and Marriage
Mortuary Ritual
Notions of the Soul and the Afterlife
Bad Death
Funerals as Rites of Passage
Two-Stage Mortuary Practices
Two-Stage Mortuary Practices in the Central Highlands of Vietnam
References and Further Reading
Witchcraft and Sorcery: Past and Present, Far and Near
Traditional Witchcraft and Sorcery in Small-Scale Societies
Bird Flu and Witchcraft in Contemporary Cambodia
The Azande and Other African Groups
The Navajo
Witchcraft in Melanesia and Southeast Asia
Witchcraft in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe
Organized Witchcraft Did Not Exist
Witchcraft Was Actually Class Struggle
Witchcraft Was Pre-Christian Religion
Witchcraft Beliefs, Experiences, and Hallucinations
Modern Witchcraft or Neo-Paganism
Modern English Witchcraft
Modern American Witchcraft
References and Further Reading
Spirit Possession, Spirit Mediumship, and Shamanism
Spirit Possession and Spirit Mediumship
Spirit Mediumship or Voluntary Possession
Involuntary Spirit Possession as Psychopathology and Spirit Mediumship as Psychotherapy
Involuntary Spirit Possession as Protest and Empowerment
Spirit Possession among Malay Schoolgirls and Factory Workers in Malaysia
The Work and Influence of Mircea Eliade
Defining Shamanism Broadly or Narrowly
The Basic Features of Shamanism
The Occurrence of Shamanism
Shamanism, Modes of Adaptation, and Levels of Social, Political, and Religious Organization and Gender
Shamanism as a Paleolithic Religion
Shamania: The Controversy over Prehistoric Art and Shamanism
Neo-Shamanism: Carlos Castaneda and Michael Harner
Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan
Michael Harner and the Foundation for Shamanic Studies
References and Further Reading
Religious Movements and the Origins of Religion
Three Native American Movements
The Delaware Prophet
James Mooney and the Ghost Dance
Peyotism and the Native American Church
Cargo Movements in Melanesia
The Tuka Movement in Fiji
The Notion of Cargo
The Logic of Cargo Movements
Later Cargo Cults and Nationalist Movements
The Bungan Movement in the Interior of Borneo
A Reevaluation of the Theory of Revitalization
References and Further Reading
Anthropology and Religion in a Global Context: The World Religions, Conversion, and Complexity
The World Religions from an Anthropological Perspective
Named Identity
Sacred Texts, Written Languages, and Restricted Literacy
Universality and Localization
Colonialism, Diaspora, and the World Religions
Suffering and Salvation
The Anthropological Study of the World Religions
Theoretical Developments
Religion, Society, and Civilization in Rural Java
Buddhism and the Spirit Cults among the Burmese
Gender and Religion in Korea
The Conversion of Indigenous Peoples to and within the World Religions
The Conversion of Indigenous Peoples in Southeast Asia
Conversion to Christianity in Northern Thailand
The Conversion from Roman Catholicism to Evangelical Protestantism in Mexico and Central America
References and Further Reading
About the Author
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