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Flashcards in Religion Deck (41):

How can we define religion?

-EB Tyler: religion is a belief in spirits
-attitudes, beliefs and practices related to super natural power, the non human


What is supernatural?

- defined by perspectives by a realm beyond human experience
- not universal, implies beyond nature but some like Tahltan believe they live in same physical world as spirits.


What is animism?

- EB tyler
-most basic type of religion
○ Minimum definition of religion
○ Belief in spiritual beings
○ Believe in soul/spirit in all living things
○ Difference between sleeping and death. Sleep still have spirit but may wander while death is permanent separation
○ Souls/spirits of animal and plants are similar to humans, all are respected but they are less powerful
○ common is foraging, horticultural, pastoral
○ Egalitarian society


What is Polytheism?

- belief in multiple gods
-spirits are personified
- have specific jobs/roles/power/status
-may be a supreme God
- associated with horticultural, pastoral, agricultural (have larger populations and people have different jobs)
- differentiation of earth and heaven


What is Monotheism?

- Belief in one God/ supreme God
- agricultural and industrial capitalist, some large pastoral
- extremes of social inequality and diversification


What is Tylers model for types of religion

- etic framework
- evolution of religion
- animism: savagery
- Polytheism: barbarism
- Monotheism: civilized


Who is Guy Swanson?

- said cultures create Gods that mirror the social order of life on Earth


What is Functionalism

- fdefinition of the function of religion
- institutions in society create security for the group
- Inward focused
- Religion helps us understand the otherwise unexplainable
- How religions create social cohesion
- involves social functions and psychology/emotion


What are the social functions of religions

- emile Durkheim
- answer questions related to morality and proper behaviours. - Helps to build community and offers possibility of social control/order


What are the Psychology and emotional functions of religion?

- Bronslaw Melinowski
-answers questions about misfortune, anxiety, illness, birth, origins, endings and death


Who is James Frazier

Distinguished between knowledge on magic, religion and science


What is the Nature of Mythology?

- Etic framework
- Distinguishes myths from legends and folktales
-Basis of comparative religious studies ie cross cultural analysis


What is a Myth?

- Sacred story as it invokes the spiritual, held to be true.
- Has truths and values within it
- Valid within religious/cultural context
- Purpose is to provide basis for belief and practices
- ideological system
- teach people and give rules for behaviour
- occurs during "myth time" outside real world
- "characters" are divine/semi divine, with super natural abilities that shape world into shape it has today


What are the 3 types of mythology

myths, legends, and folktales


What is Nuxalk?

- Bella Coola british columbia
-salmon fishing people and potlatching people
- Raven and Yearling Seal
- stresses importance on feeding guests
- Raven fails to be a proper host
- called bungling host story (be god host is to be a good person)


What is a legend

-secular or sacred
- takes place during historical time but beyond historical horizon
-take place in our world in known places
- participants have super human abilities
- contain truths, values, instructions for living good life
- told for entertainment
- often historical
ex: Paul Bunyan, King Arthur, urban legend (usually tells you what not to do)


What is a folktale?

- secular stories (no divine/ supernatural)
-involve non human persons
- tend to be humorous stories of ordinary poeple
- told for entertainment and teaching
- can be fictional or involve magic
- set at any place/ time, (timeless)
ex: brothers Grimm


What is the Windigo?

- folktale
-believed by aboriginals
- cannibals
-formerly human : transformation
anti human


What are Rituals

- religion in action
- repeated patterned behaviours
-sacred rituals and secular


Who was Victor Turner

- Zambia (africa)
- puberty rituals
- Forced activities which stand out from everyday life
- use symbols (point to fact ritual is taking place
- express values of religion and culture
-symbols are collective shared by more than one


What is the ritual of Magic

- type of ritual in which you work to compel the supernatural to act in certain ways, often for your benefit
- explanation for, control over the unknown


What are the rules of magic

-law of sympathy: like produces like,
a) law of similarity: image magic, imitative magic, causal relationship between 2 similar things
ex: Hollywood voodoo doll, walnuts good for the brain
b) contogious magic, things once in contact remain in contact
- lucky rabbits foot,
- iskuit: fingernails, hair
- always works except when it doesnt


What is the explanation for magic that doesn't work

- ritual was performed wrong
- on that particular day, gods did not want to help you



- baseball magic
- rituals conducted at times of uncertainty


What are religious specialists

- priests and shamans
- "stereotype" priests= full time religious specialists (agricultural and industrial economies) while shamans= part time religious specialist, egalitarian (foraging, hort, pastoralism)


Who are priests?

- full time religious specialists
- priests (catholic), rabbi (jewish), Imam (islam), brahmin (hinduism)
associated with food growing and industrial economies
- social hierarchy
labour differences and specialization
- specialty: interpret scripture and conduct rituals
- tend to be men, hereditary position, personify expectations and ideals
- skills: acquired through training and education
- learning scriptures/sacred texts
- effectiveness is based on ability to memorize and conduct rituals keeping in mind that sometime rituals may not work


Who are Shaman

- takes on many roles of full time specialists but is part time
- involved in hort, pastoralism and foraging bc society does not have same hierarchy
- responsibilities overlap with priests
- take on job to cure illness, responsible for both spiritual and physical health.
- role: contact spirit world through altering states of conciousness
- Training less formal, still includes apprenticeships to learn healing techniques
- specific skills identify you for this role (ex healing skills)
- Techniques: name disease, empathetic, expert, use of plant based medicine


Who is Wade Davis

- studied shaminism, use of coca/cocain
- curandero (shamanic healer in amazon)
- hougan: Haitian Uodou
- explain differences in roles of shaman and priest
- "job of shaman is to invoke ecstasy and soar on wings of medical rescue"
- wrote serpent & rainbow: went to haiti trying to understand how people in context of Vodu could become zombies
- understood that you cant understand it unless you understand whole haitian culture


How is altered state of consciousness involved in shamanism

question is how to invoke a technique of ecstasy and encounter Gods/deity
- bringing about altered states
- meditation, trance
- chanting: repetition of sound at times singing and drumming
- strenuous motor activities

change your body chemisty
- deny body food (fasting), water, oxygen, sleep, invoke fever, reduce temp of body (hypothermia), entopic images (pressure put on eyeball) mimics visions of ebing high on cocaine
- infliction of pain (sacred pain) ie hurt body for sake of the soul


What are examples of inflicting pain to alter states of consciousness

- lady Xok
- Sun dance: young men dance around centre hole w/ piercings on chest/ check until piercings ripped out


What is Vodou

- Haiti
syncretic religion (blended)
- 401 lwa/ loa (spirits) each associated with catholic saints
- central ritual: through various actions/rituals you can become a god
- certain ritual invites Lwa into your body and you are capable of divine activity


What is Witchcraft

- ritual, magic, explaining the unexplainable
- performed by specialists, associated with harm and evil
-used by Maisin, Navajo, Agamode


explain maisin sorcory

- unexplainable being explained
- social leveling device
keep people in check
-tied to reciprocity


explain navajo sorcery

- control people
- unexplainable


What do the Azande believe about witchcraft?

- belief that witchcraft is the inborn ability to harm others
- social levelling
- explain unexplainable
- use oracles to answer quesitons


What are points about the Azande movie

- witchcraft laws are heavily believed and enforced by police
- oracles


What is Euphorica drugs?

Narcostics, intense happiness, morphine, cocaine, heroin,
- ayahuasca: associated with inca, increases blood pressure and induced hallucinations (come from gods)


What are phantastica drugs?

2) Phantastica
- hallucinogens, visions
- magic mushroons, marijuana
- payote: associated with native american church, used as hallucinogen to promote introspection.


What are Lnebriantia drugs

- alcohol, ether can cause blackouts


What are hypnotica drugs

- seditives
- Kava: plant based drugs used in Hawaii and Samoa, lib numbing alternative to alchohol
- said to relax without losing mental clarity


What are excitania drugs

- stimulants
- caffeine, tobacco,
-betel nut: but behind lip and heighten awareness, inc blood pressure