Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, 2006 - Religion - 350 pages
A sequel and update of the pioneering text Anthropological Studies of Religion, this book provides a readable, comprehensive and critical introduction to the extensive anthropological literature on religion that has been produced over the past forty years. It focuses on well-know, substantive ethnographic studies, specifically those which have embraced the dual heritage of social anthropology in combining the interpretive understanding of religious phenomena, with a social scientific perspective that situates religion within its wider socio-historical context. Breaking away from the usual thematic approach and taking a comparative perspective, this engaging book emphasizes that religion is essentially a social institution, and is ill-understood if seen simply as an ideological or symbolic system.
 

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Contents

Shamanism
14
12 What is Shamanism?
16
13 Shamanism and Altered States of Consciousness
19
14 SpiritPossession Shamanism
22
15 Siberian and Inner Asian Shamanism
25
16 Inuit Shamanism
29
17 NeoShamanism
34
18 Comparative Studies
37
53 The World of Kongo Belief
153
54 Prophetic Movements in Lower Zaire
159
55 Religious Change in Zambia
164
56 Religious Movements in Zambia
168
57 Tshidi Barolong Cosmology
177
58 Zionist Churches in South Africa
182
AfricanAmerican Religions
188
62 Vodou in Haiti
191

19 The Interpretation Shamanism
40
Buddhism and SpiritCults
44
22 The Buddhist Dharma
47
23 Buddhism and Nat Cults in Burma
54
24 Buddhism and SpiritCults in Thailand
58
25 Religious Change in Sri Lanka
63
26 Buddhism and Folk Religion in Tibet
68
27 Buddhism and the State
74
Islam and Popular Religion
77
32 The Islamic Tradition
79
33 Zar Cults in Northern Somalia
82
34 Zar Cults in the Sudan
88
35 The Saints and Scholars of Islam
96
A Sufi Brotherhood in Morocco
102
37 Religion and Politics in Morocco
104
Hinduism and New Religious Movements
112
42 Sanskritic Hinduism
115
43 Popular Hinduism
122
44 Cult of the Goddess
130
45 Bhakti Cults
134
46 Gurus and Hindu Nationalism
140
Christianity and Religion in Africa
146
52 Prologue on African Religion
148
63 Vodou Rituals
199
64 Religions of Jamaica
206
65 The Rastafari Movement
212
66 Rastafari Beliefs and Practices
217
67 Religions of Brazil
222
Religions of Melanesia
232
72 Kwaio Religion
234
73 Religion and Ecology
241
74 Millenarian Movements in Melanesia
249
75 Road Belong Cargo
255
76 The Interpretation of Millenarian Movements
260
Neopaganism and the New Age Movement
269
82 The Contemporary Neopagan Revival
271
83 The Roots of Neopagan Witchcraft
276
84 Pagan Pathways
282
85 The Western Mystery Tradition
292
86 Contemporary Ritual Magic
296
87 New Age Spirituality
302
Conclusions
308
References
315
Index
343
Copyright

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Page 7 - Sociology (in the sense in which this highly ambiguous word is used here) is a science which attempts the interpretive understanding of social action in order thereby to arrive at a causal explanation of its course and effects.
Page 1 - Religion, then, can be defined as a system of beliefs and practices by means of which a group of people struggles with these ultimate problems of human life.

About the author (2006)

Brian Morris is an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, at the University of London. His many publications include Chewa Medical Botany, Animals and Ancestors, Kropotkin: The Politics of Community, Insects and Human Life and Anthropological Studies of Religion: An Introductory Text (Cambridge, 1987).

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