Flashcards in Religion and the Supernatural - Text Deck (97):
What things of importance in the Iroquois culture does the Sky Woman creation story illustrate?
- women are the source of all life and sustenance
- interdependence of all things in nature
- duality in Iroquois social organization (the twins)
- the twins lived in the same lodge for a while, facing each other across a fire, similar to traditional Iroquois living arrangements, and the Iroquois village is divided into 2 halves of a moiety
What fulfills social and psychological needs in for people?
What did 19th C European intellectual community suggest about science? What resulted?
- suggested that science ultimately would destroy religion by showing people the irrationality of their myths and rituals
- indeed many still believe that as scientific explanations replace those of religion the latter will wither on the vine. This has not happened.
What reduces anxiety? Explain.
In the face of new anxieties, religion offers social and psychological support. Religion reduces anxiety and keeps confidence high, which serves to keep people in some sort of shape to cope with reality.
What gives religion its survival value?
its ability to shape how people cop with reality
What is religious fundamentalism?
Returning to the fundamentals of a religion.
What is 20th century fundamentalism a reaction to?
A reaction to modernism and to religion's loss of influence.
What does not appeal to people about fundamentalism?
Radicalism is not why fundamentalists sects appeal to so many people
What do fundamentalists see themselves as?
Guardians of the truth and see their sacred scriptures as sources of inspiration, comfort, and rules for living
Who resists change brought on by modernism and maintains that traditional beliefs and doctrine, moral codes, an patterns of behaviour still have a place in their present.
What is the structure of many fundamentalist groups?
True or False: Fundamentalists do not totally reject science and technology.
When do fundamentalists reject the science?
when it goes against their beliefs
What is the definition of religion?
A set of rituals, rationalized by myth, that mobilizes supernatural powers to achieve or prevent transformations of sate in people and nature.
True or False: The Canadian census demonstrates a dramatic decline unchurch attendance over the past 50 years.
What gives people a survival mechanism that gives people the strength to cope with their reality along with some sense of control over their lives?
What is to understand a religion to understand?
the culture they are studying
Describe religion in foraging cultures.
- Naturalistic world view
- Religions usually inseparable from the rest of daily life
- Egalitarian nature mens that individual sod not pray to high-ranking deities or ask for their aid they way members of stratified societies do
Describe religion in Western cultures.
- ideological commitment to overcoming problems through technology and organization, religion is less a part of daily activities and is restricted to specific occasions
- hierarchy of supernatural beings
- reflects and confirms this stratified nature of that society
Describe how religion may differ in the lives of the social elites than in the lives of peasants or lower classes.
Religious activity may be less prominent in th lives of social elites, who see themselves as more in control of their own destinies, than it is in the lives of peasants or the lower classes. Among the latter, religion may afford some compensation for their subordinate position in society. Yet religion is still important to the elite in that it rationalizes the system in such a way that people are not as likely to question the existing social order as they might otherwise.
How is religion performative?
Religion is performative and is acted out through ritual, ceremony,a nd observances.
When do humans turn to prayer, sacrifice, and other religious rituals?
When attempting to control by religious means what cannot be controlled in other ways.
What are the 3 categories of supernatural beings?
major deities (gods and goddesses), ancestral spirits, and other spirit beings
What are gods and goddesses?
the most powerful and remote of supernatural beings; they are seen as controlling the universe
What is polytheism?
belief in several gods and/or goddesses (as contrasted with monotheist--belief in one god).
What are pantheons?
collections of gods and goddesses such as those of the Greeks, are communion non-western states. Pantheons often develop as local deities of conquered peoples are incorporated into the official state pantheon. Presence of a supreme deity, totally out of reach to humans.
A collection of gods and goddesses.
Where are male godheads found?
among groups whose economies are based on the herding of animals or on intensive agriculture carried out by men
Where are goddesses found?
are like to be most prominent ing groups where women make a major contribution to the economy and enjoy relative equality with men, and where men are more involved in their families, as in farming communities
What is a belief in ancestral spirits consistent with?
The widespread notion that human beings are comprised of two parts: a body and some kind of vital spirit
Where a belief in ancestral spirits exists, these beings often are seen as___an active interest and even membership in society.
Where are ancestral spirits mainly found?
A belief in ancestral spirits is found in many parts of the world, especially among people with unilinear descent systems.
What is animism?
A belief in spirit beings thought to animate nature.
- Animals and plants, like humans, all may have they individual spirits, but so too may springs, mountains, stones, weapons,ornaments, and so on.
- In addition, the woods may be falloff a variety of unattached or free-ranging spirits
- Less remote from people than gods and goddesses and are more involved in daily affairs
What is animatism?
A belief that the world is animated by impersonal supernatural powers.
Where is animism typical?
Animism is typical of those who see themselves as a part of nature rather than superior to it. Food foragers. Among such societies, gods and goddesses are relatively unimportant but the woods are full of all sorts of spirits, and it s these spirits that individuals turn to of curing, that help or hinder the shaman, and that the ordinary hunter may meet when off in the woods.
True or False: animalism and animism are mutually exclusive.
What are myths?
A sacred narrative explaining how the world came to be in its present form.
What are explanatory narratives that rationalize religious beliefs and practices that focus on human existence that are symbolic expressions of meaning?
True or False: All societies have myths, whether they re transmitted through social memory and oral traditions or written down on parchment or laptops.
What recount the doings of various supernatural beings and thus serve to reinforce belief in them.
What is a symbolic expression of meaning?
What is the Ju / 'hoansi example of a myth?
The Ju / ' hoansi trickster is a mythological and spiritual beings that changes his identity and appearance from lewd prankster to divine creator, goblin to god, human to jackal, and that goes by many names. Yet for all his ambiguity, the trickster creates understanding dn order within the Ju / 'hoansi world.
What is a shaman/medicine person?
A part-time religious specialist who has unique power acquired through is or her initiative; such individuals are thought to possess exceptional abilities for dealing with supernatural beings and powers.
What are part-time religious specialists who acquire religious power individually, usually during times of solitude and isolation, at which point th eGreat Spirit, the Power, the Great Mystery, is revealed to them.
How does a person typically become a shaman?
By undergoing an apprenticeship which consists of difficult stages commonly outline in myths
What is the importance of shamanism?
For individuals, shamanistic practices release tension and promote feelings of ecstasy. They provide psychological assurance that health will be recover or an attack turned back. In fact, a frequent reason for shamanistic performance is to cure illness. The treatment itself may not be medically effective, but the improved state of mind that shamanism induces in the patient may be critical to his or her recovery.
True or False: Shamans acquire so much power that they can do evil as well as good and the =us be potentially dangerous
What are rites of passage?
Rituals, often religious in nature, marking important stages in the lives of individuals, such as birth, marriage, and death.
What are the three stages of rites of passage?
separation, transition, and incorporation.
Rites of intensification?
Religious rituals enacted during a group's real or potential crisis.
What is separation?
In rites of passage, the ritual removal of the individuals from society.
In cities of passage, a stage where the individual is isolated following separation and prior to incorporation into society.
What is incorporation?
In rites of passage, reincorporation of the individual into society in his or her new status.
What is the vision quest an example of?
a rite of passage
What are rituals that mark occasions of crisis the life of the group rather than an individual?
rites of intensification
When are mass ceremonies performed?
To allay the danger to the group. This unites people n a common effort so that fear and confusion yield to collective action and a degree of optimism.
What can funerary ceremonies be regarded as? Why?
Rites of intensification the permit the living to express their grief over the death while providing for social readjustment.
What is the classic anthropological notion of magic?
Belief that supernatural powers can be compelled to act in certain ways for good or evil purposes.
True or False: Anthropologists no longer distinguish between magic and religion.
Why do anthropologists no longer distinguish between magic and religion?
Magical practices often are part of religious rituals, and both magic and religion deal directly with the supernatural
What is imitative magic?
Magic based on the principle that like produces like. For example, early cave art depicting animals with arrows in them has been interpreted as imitative magic, in that by drawing such images they would come true.
What is contagious magic?
Magic based on the principle that beings once in contact can influence one another after separation
What is something that commonly (in the West) turn to rituals, taboos, and fetishes for for good luck?
What is a taboo?
A socially restricted behaviour
What is witchcraft?
An explanation of events based on the belief that certain individuals possess an innate psychic power capable of causing harm, including sickness and death. also includes belief and practices of benevolent magic.
True or False: Belief in witchcraft and fear of its practice have disappeared in contemporary cultures.
Why do people turn to witchcraft?
People turn to witchcraft to deal with everyday crises, especially sickness. Like religion, witchcraft provides an explanation for many happenings for which no cause can be discovered.
What is Ibibio witchcraft?
- Among the iBibio, as among most peoples of sub-Saharan Africa, witchcraft beliefs are highly developed and long-standing.
- Almost all misfortune, including illness and death, is attributed to the malevolent activities of witches
- Ibibio witches are males or females who possess a special substance acquired from another established witch
- The power is purely psychic, and ibibio witches do not perform rites or make sue of "bad medicine"
How do the Ibibio identify a witch?
They look for behaviour out of the ordinary. Witches are apt to be social disruptive people in the sense that their behaviour exceeds the range of variance considered acceptable.
What is the difference between black witches and white witches in Ibibio culture?
The bio distinguish between "black witches, " whose acts are especially diabolical and destructive, and "white witches," whose witchcraft is relatively benign, even though their powers are thought to be greater than those of their black counterparts.
What is the nightmare witch?
The nightmare witch is the very embodiment of a culture' conception of evil--a being that flouts the rules of sexual behaviour and disregards every standard of decency Nightmare witches, being almost literally the product of dreams and repressed fantasies, have much in common wherever they appear.
What are everyday witches?
Everyday witches are often the community's nonconformists; they are morose, eat alone, are arrogant and unfriendly, but otherwise cause little trouble. Such witches may be dangerous when offended and retaliate by causing sickness, death, crop failure, cattle disease, or any number of lesser ills; hence people thought to be witches are treated cautiously and courteously, and one makes way for them if crossing they path.
What is neo-paganism?
Modern pagan religions
What is Wicca?
A neo-pagan belief system involving magic.
Wicca is a modern version of an ancient magical religion, although, importantly, Wiccans believe their power comes from the inner self rather than the supernatural. Wiccan are organized into covens, typically led by a high priestess, although men also can lead and belong to covens.
In what way is Wicca a "mystery" religion?
It requires secret initiation rites to enter the coven, and coven members are ranked based on their level of training and skills in the craft.
Where do Wiccans worship?
Any place in contact with the earth, such as a grove of trees or copse, will do for worship
What are reconstructionist religions?
Modern-day revivals of ancient pagan religions
True or False: reconstructionist religions are usually polytheistic.
True or False: magic tends to play a lesser role in reconstructionist religions than in Wicca.
What do reconstructionist religions emphasize?
Emphasize the importance of scholarship, relying on classical texts such as the Nordic Eddas to keep in touch with their cultural history. Magic tends to play a lesser role than in Wicca.
What system do neo-pagan religions belong to?
Neo-pagan religions belong to an intricate system of nature religions that are finding an increasing audience among educated, successful urbanites worldwide.
What are 3 psychological roles of religion?
- provide an orderly model of the universe
- reduces fears and anxieties
- positive effect of religion and spirituality on an individual's health
How does religion serve to sanction conduct?
By playing a role in social control, which does not rely on law alone. By deliberately raising people's feelings of guilt and anxiety about their actions, religion helps keep them in line. Religion also sets precedents for acceptable behaviour. Usually, myths portray supernatural beings in ways that illustrate the culture's ethical code in action.
What is the purpose of a society's moral code?
Once it is considered divinely fixed, it lifts the burden of responsibility for conduct from the shoulders of an individual who believes in the divine. It can be a tremendous relief to people to believe that the responsibility for the way things are rests with the gods, rather than with themselves, and that the burden of decision making can be transferred onto the shoulders of the divine.
How does religion help maintain social solidarity within a group?
Participation in rituals, couple with a basic uniformity of beliefs, helps bind people together and reinforce their identification with they own group
How does religion serve a social function with education?
Initiation rites can enhance learning and thus help ensure the perpetuation of a non literate culture's knowledge and history. education also may be served by rites of intensification. Often, such rites involve dramas that portray matters of cultural importance.
How may religions impede education?
The opposition from certain school boards in the U.S.A to the teaching of evolution and the forbidding of women to attend schools in some nations for religious reasons are example of such impediments.
What are revitalization movements?
Social movements, often of a religious nature, with the purpose of totally reforming a society.
True or False: revitalization movements are restricted to the colonial world.
What is mormonism an example of?
What is the purpose of revitalization movements?
A revitalization movement strives to construct a more satisfying life based on an idealized past. The movement is usually led by a visionary or messiah. The emphasis in this definition is on the reformation no just of the religious sphere of activity but also of the entire social system. Such a drastic solution is attempted when group's anxiety and frustration have become so intense that the only way to reduce the stress is to overturn the entire social system and replace it with a new one.
Why should we expect to see a propagation of various revitalization movements in North American society for the next few years?
Because of the numerous sources of anxiety in North American society today, ranging from science and technology to what many regard as a breakdown of the family and morality
What is missionism?
Missionaries have spread around the world, converting, or attempting to convert, indigenous peoples to institutionalized belief systems. This process has caused dramatic changes in the world views and cultural system s of indigenous peoples. Missions is a powerful force of culture change.
In which ways is religious conversion a controversial subject?
On the one hand, the destruction of traditional belief systems and the disruption of cultural systems can lead to serious social problems. On the other, missionaries believe that spreading their teachings is a righteous goal.
What are some positives to missionism?
Missions also provide much needed services. Missionaries sojourn to war-torn and disaster areas to lend much-ceded supplies and medical aid. Nonetheless, the ethics of offering medical aid while attempting to convert desperate people has generated considerable debate.