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Flashcards in Ch.13 Deck (16)
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What is the definition of religion?

An organized system of ideas about the spiritual sphere or the supernatural, along with associated ceremonial practices by which people try to interpret and/or influence aspects of the universe otherwise beyond their control


What is the definition of magic?

specific formulas and actions used to compel supernatural powers to act in certain ways for good or evil proposes
-members of a culture typically refer to magic as malevolent


Types of religion



Common features of religion and magic

based on the supernatural
-not susceptible to scientific verification
practiced as ways of coping with anxieties and frustrations of everyday life


How does religion differ from magic?

major issues of human existence
prayer and sacrifices to appeal or petition supernatural forces for assistance
Group activities
specific time
officially recognized individuals


How does magic differ from religion?

specific, immediate problems
believe they control or manipulate nature/people through their own effort
individual activity
irregular response to specific, immediate problems
wide variety of practitioners


What are the functions of religion?

reinforces community values
provides moral guidelines for personal conduct
offers narratives and rituals used to confirm a social hierarchy, sanction political power
May allow for narratives countering the legitimacy of power holders even providing justifications and rituals to resist and challenge them
people turn to religion in the hope of reaching a specific goal



the collection of gods and goddesses such as those of the Greeks, common in many religions


What is Manitou?

A form of animatism found in north eastern America, algonquian-speaking indigenous peoples refer to impersonal spirit power


What is a priest or priestess?

A full-time religious specialist formally recognized for his or her role in guiding the religious practices of others and for contacting and influencing supernatural powers



A culturally prescribed symbolic act or procedure designed to guide members of a community in an orderly way through personal and collective transitions


Rite of purification

A symbolic act carried out by an individual or a group to establish or restore purity when someone has violated a taboo or is otherwise unclean


Rite of passage

A ritual that marks an important ceremonial moment when members of a society move from one distinctive social stage in life to another, such as birth, marriage, and death. It features three phases: separation, tradition, and incorporation.


Rite of intensification

A ritual that takes place during a crisis in the life of the group and serves to bind individuals together.



Ideologically inspired violation of a sacred site intended to inflict harm, if only symbolically, on people judged to have impure, false or even evil beliefs and ritual practices.


revitalization movements

Social movements for radical cultural reform in response to widespread social disruption and collective feelings of great stress and despair