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Flashcards in Chapter 2 Vocab Deck (22):


A sacred story that provides the basis for religious beliefs and practices.



The way in which a society perceives and interprets its reality.


Social charter

A story that establishes the proper organization and rules of behavior of a society.


Collective unconscious

: Inborn elements of the unconscious that are manifested in dreams and myths.



A main character of the collective unconscious.



Ultimate devastation or the end of the world.


Trickster god

A god who gave humans important things or skills, often by accident or through trickery


Trickster story

A story involving a trickster deity.



A theme common to many myths that tells of the adventures of a culture hero.



universal characteristic of religion according to Muller



a systems of beliefs and practices that were related to manipulating the goals of events. → magic was analogous to science in primitive cultures - it was what they could do and how they understood things. It was a body of technique designed to accomplish specific aims. → i.e. spells,


Auguste Comte (1798-1857)

• Coined the new term “sociology” in 1838
• this new word meant the scientific study of the natural laws governing social phenomena
• Positivism – 3 distinct stages in history
o Theological (until 1350) -
events are believed to occur simply because human or superhuman beings want them too
o Metaphysical (Approx. the Renaissance) - transitional —> an awareness of the habitual orderliness of events
o Scientific (after Copernicus, d. 1543; Galileo, d. 1642; Newton, 1727) - all the overtones of assurance and certainty the word connotes. The modern period in which science was dominant, having as its aim the discovery of those natural laws to which he believed all phenomena were reducible


Max Muller (1823-1900)

• - his theory was that religious theory was caused by a feeling of awe in the experience of natural phenomena and leads to the construction of a sacred cosmos. —> naturist - Connection with nature --> leaving the city and appreciating the beauty and power of nature when it is not polluted by city lights


Spencer (1820-1903)

- Spencer was a positivist and evolutionist
- everything which is mysterious or difficult to account for is understood in terms of the hypothetical existence of ghosts
• Dreams
o People often dream of people they miss – dead ancestors etc. and because of this, it brought upon the idea of ghosts
• Ghosts
o Life beyond death -
• Ancestors worship
o Imagining ancestors live on in the representation of a ghost is the origin of religion
• “The Study of Sociology” 1873
- the theories of Tylor and Spencer are very similar to each other though they were elaborated independently


E.B. Tylor (1832-1917)

• Animism
o Definition of religious is belief in spiritual beings
• Dream, soul…. 2 entities
o Places emphasis not on ghosts but on the soul
o There is a second entity in the body that might be active during a sleeping state – it might leave the body but it always comes back


Robert R. Marett (1909)

• Animatism
o The earliest belief and practice of religion – looking at the world in regards to mana
o Belief in an impersonal supernatural power
• Mana
o The heart and essence of animatism
o Argued early humans conceived of the super natural in terms of the raw dynamic impersonal power
o Contained in certain places, things and living people


James Frazer (1854-1941)

• Evolutionist
• Positivist - he was prepared to argue that science might not be the final level of evolutionary development


Golden Bough (1890-1914):

- he denied that religion was for a set of supernatural beings
-he argued that magic was prior to religion — magic was first
- Frazer drew a distinction (still a reference point today) between 2 types of magic: imitative and contagious.


Operant Definitions

Using definable terms so that they are observable and measurable and therefore can be studied


Analytic Definitions

Focus on the way religion manifests itself or is expressed in culture


Functional Definitions

Are based on the role that religion plays within the society


Essentialist Definitions

Look at the essential nature of religion