Anthropology of Religion  book cover
1st Edition

Anthropology of Religion

ISBN 9780415494236
Published November 23, 2010 by Routledge
1352 Pages

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Book Description

Religious belief is an extremely powerful motivator of human behaviour. Religious considerations permeate and influence all parts of a culture. Religious systems are universal in human cultures, around the world and through all stages of human history and prehistory. Of all academic approaches to religion, the anthropological approach is the most comprehensive and the most useful to students of human belief and behaviour, because it examines religion as a cultural system that cannot fully be understood separated from the other systems with which it interacts.

This new four-volume collection from Routledge assembles exemplary scholarship in the field from its Victorian beginnings to the present, and represents all generally accepted categories of religious belief and ritual, plus some new ones. Topics covered include: ‘Early Explorations’; ‘Symbols’; ‘Supernatural Beings’; ‘Magical Power and Forces’; ‘Human Agents of Supernatural Danger’; ‘Myth’; ‘Ritual’; ‘Religious Practitioners’; ‘Women and Gender’; ‘Belief’; ‘Ecology’; ‘Mind and Body—Neurobiological Bases’; and ‘Religion in Socio-Cultural Change’.

The first volume is prefaced with a general introduction newly written by the editor which outlines the history and salient aspects of the anthropological concern for religion, and introduces the specific sections of the work. Each thematic part also includes a short introduction to set the gathered materials in context. Anthropology of Religion is destined to be valued by scholars, students, researchers, and practitioners as an essential one-stop reference.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Early Explorations

1. Robertson Smith, ‘Sacrifice’, A Portion of Lecture VIII from Lectures on the Religion of the Semites (Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1889), pp. 251–71.

2. E. B. Tyler, ‘Animism’, Primitive Culture, Vol. 1 (John Murray, 1871), pp. 383ff.

3. J. G. Frazer, ‘Sympathetic Magic’, The Golden Bough, 3rd. edn. (1911–15), pp. 52–119.

4. Max Weber, ‘The Rise of Religions’, The Sociology of Religion, trans. Ephraim Fischoff (Beacon Press, 1963), pp. 1–9.

5. Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo, trans. A. A. Brill (Vintage Books, 1960 [1918]), pp. 171–87, 190–1, 195–202, 207.

6. Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, ‘Primitive Mentality’, How Natives Think (1926 translation of Les Fonctions mentales dans les sociétés inférieures (1910)).

7. A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, ‘Religion and Society’, JRAI, 1945, 75, 1–2, 33–43.

8. Arnold van Gennep, ‘The Classification of Rites’, The Rites of Passage [1908], trans. Monika B. Vizedom and Gabrielle L. Caffee (University of Chicago Press, 1960), pp. 2–4, 10–21, 189–94.

9. Mircea Eliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, trans. Willard R. Trask (Pantheon Books, 1964), pp. 3–32.

10. Clifford Geertz, ‘Religion as a Cultural System’, in Michael Banton (ed.), Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion (Tavistock, 1966), pp. 1–46.

Part 2: Symbols

11. Victor W. Turner, ‘Symbols in Ndembu Ritual’, in Max Gluckman (ed.), Closed Systems and Open Minds (Oliver & Boyd, 1964).

12. Eric R. Wolf, ‘The Virgin of Guadalupe: A Mexican National Symbol’, Journal of American Folklore, 1958, 71, 279.

13. Sherry B. Ortner, ‘On Key Symbols’, American Anthropologist, 1973, 75, 1338–46.

14. Gananath Obeyesekere, Medusa’s Hair (University of Chicago Press, 1981), pp. 13–46.

Part 3: Supernatural Beings

15. E. G. Parrinder, ‘God in African Mythology’, in Joseph M. Kitagawa and Charles H. Long (eds.), Myths & Symbols: Studies in Honor of Mircea Eliade (University of Chicago Press, 1969), pp. 111–25.

16. Robert Knox Dentan, ‘The Semai Thunder God’, Overwhelming Terror: Love, Fear, Peace, and Violence Among Semai of Malaysia (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), pp. 65–85.

17. David Hicks, ‘Making the King Divine: A Case Study in Ritual Regicide from Timor’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1996, 2, 611–24.

18. Paul Radin, ‘The Winnebago Trickster Figure’, The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology (Greenwood Press, 1956), pp. 3–4, 132–68.

19. Lyle B. Steadman, Craig T. Palmer, and Christopher F. Tilley, ‘The Universality of Ancestor Worship’, Ethnology, 1996, 35, 1, 63–76.

20. Shirley Lindenbaum, ‘Sorcerers, Ghosts, and Polluting Women: An Analysis of Religious Belief and Population Control’, Ethnology, 1972, 11, 241–53.

Part 4: Magical Power and Forces

21. Dorothy Lee, ‘Religious Perspectives in Anthropology’, in Lowell D. Holmes (ed.), Readings in General Anthropology (Ronald Press, 1971), pp. 416–27.

22. Bronislaw Malinowski, ‘Magic, Science and Religion’ [1925], Magic, Science and Religion and Other Essays (Macmillan, 1948), pp. 25–35.

23. Mary Douglas, ‘Ritual Uncleanness’, Purity and Danger (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966), pp. 7–28.

24. Mary Douglas, ‘Taboo’, in Richard Cavendish (ed.), Man, Myth, and Magic, Vol. 20 (London, 1979), pp. 67–71.

25. Lucy Mair, ‘Divination’, Witchcraft (1969), pp. 76–101.

26. Omar Khayyam Moore, ‘Divination: A New Perspective’, American Anthropologist, 1957, LIX, 69–74.

27. George Gmelch, ‘Baseball Magic’ (revised by the author in 2009 for this collection).

28. Phillips Stevens, Jr. ‘Women’s Aggressive Use of Genital Power in Africa’, Transcultural Psychiatry, 2006, 43, 4, 592–7.

Part 5: Human Agents of Supernatural Danger

29. Reo Fortune, ‘Witchcraft and Sorcery’, Sorcerers of Dobu (E. P. Dutton, 1932), pp. 150–5.

30. E. E. Evans-Pritchard, ‘Witchcraft Explains Unfortunate Events’, Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande (Clarendon Press, 1937), pp. 63–83.

31. Rodney Needham, ‘Synthetic Images’, Primordial Characters (University Press of Virginia, 1988), pp. 23–50.

32. Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, ‘Witchcraft and Social Identity’, Salem Possessed (Harvard University Press, 1974), pp. 179–89.

33. James L. Brain, ‘An Anthropological Perspective on the Witchcraze’, in Jean R. Brink, Allison P. Coudert, and Maryanne C. Horowitz (eds.), The Politics of Gender in Early Modern Europe (16th Century Journal Publishers, 1989), pp. 15–27.

34. Charlanne Burke, ‘They Cut Segametsi into Parts: Ritual Murder, Youth, and the Politics of Knowledge in Botswana’, Anthropological Quarterly, 2000, 73, 4, 204–14.

Part 6: Myth

35. Bronislaw Malinowski, Myth in Primitive Psychology (1926) (excerpts).

36. Clyde Kluckhohn, ‘Myths and Rituals: A General Theory’, Harvard Theological Review, 1942, XXXV, 45–79.

37. Lord Raglan (Fitzroy Richard Somerset), ‘The Hero of Tradition’, Folklore, 1934, 45, 212–31.

38. Claude Lévi-Strauss, ‘The Structural Study of Myth’, JAF, 1955, LXVII, 428–44.

39. W. E. H. Stanner, ‘The Dreaming’, in T. A. G. Hungerford (ed.), Australian Signpost (F.W. Cheshire, 1956), pp. 51–65.

40. Edmund Leach, ‘Genesis as Myth’, Discovery, May 1982, 30–5.

Part 7: Ritual

41. Robin Horton, ‘Ritual Man in Africa’, Africa, 1964, XXXIV, 85–104.

42. Robert Lowie, ‘The Vision Quest …’, Indians of the Plains (McGraw-Hill, 1954), pp. 157–61.

43. Phillips Stevens, Jr., ‘Play and Liminality in Rites of Passage …’, Play & Culture, 1991, 4, 237–57.

44. Bruce Lincoln, ‘Revisiting Magical Fright’, American Ethnologist, 2001, 28, 4, 778–802.

Part 8: Religious Practitioners

45. Victor W. Turner, ‘Religious Specialists’, in David L. Sills (ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. 13 (1972), pp. 437–44.

46. William Howells, ‘The Shaman: A Siberian Spiritualist’, The Heathens: Primitive Man and His Religions (Doubleday, 1948), pp. 125–40.

47. Michael F. Brown, ‘The Dark Side of the Shaman’, Natural History, Nov. 1989, 8–10.

Part 9: Women and Gender

48. Elaine J. Lawless, ‘"The Night I Got the Holy Ghost …": Holy Ghost Narratives and the Pentecostal Conversion Process’, Western Folklore, 1988, 47, 1–20.

49. Janice Boddy, ‘Spirits and Selves in Northern Sudan: The Cultural Therapeutics of Possession and Trance’, American Ethnologist, 1988, 15, 1, 4–27.

50. Serena Nanda, ‘The Hijras of India: Cultural and Individual Dimensions of an Institutionalized Third Gender Role’, Journal of Homosexuality, 1985, II, 3/4, 35–54.

Part 10: Belief

51. Malcolm Ruel, ‘Christians as Believers’, in John Davis (ed.), Religious Organization and Religious Experience (Academic Press, 1982), pp. 9–31.

52. Stephen D. Glazier, ‘Demanding Spirits and Reluctant Devotees: Belief and Unbelief in the Trinidadian Orisa Movement’, Social Analysis, 2008, 52, 1, 19–38.

Part 11: Ecology

53. Roy A. Rappaport, ‘Ritual Regulation of Environmental Relations Among a New Guinea People’, Ethnology, 1967, 6, 1, 17–30.

54. Marvin Harris, ‘The Cultural Ecology of India's Sacred Cattle’, CA, 1966, 7, 1.

55. G. Reichel-Dolmatoff, ‘Cosmology as Ecological Analysis: A View from the Rain Forest’, Man, 1976, 11, 307–18.

Part 12: Mind and Body—Neurobiological Bases

56. Harry D. Eastwell, ‘Voodoo Death and the Mechanism for the Dispatch of the Dying in East Arnhem, Australia’, American Anthropologist, 1982, 84, 1, 5–17.

57. E. Mansell Pattison, ‘Psychosocial Interpretations of Exorcism’, Journal of Operational Psychiatry, 1977, 8, 2, 5–19.

58. Michael J. Harner, ‘The Sound of Rushing Water’, Natural History, June/July 1968.

59. Robert S. DeRopp, ‘Psychedelic Drugs …’, in Mircea Eliade (ed.), Encyclopedia of Religion, Vol. 12 (1987), pp. 52–7.

60. Felicitas D. Goodman, ‘The Ritual Trance’, Ecstasy, Ritual, and Alternate Reality (Indiana University Press, 1988), pp. 35–47, 174.

61. Sidney Greenfield, ‘The Cultural Biology of Brazilian Spiritist Surgery and Other Alternatives to Biomedical Healing’, International Journal of Parapsychology, 2009 (forthcoming).

62. Pascal Boyer and Brian Bergstrom, ‘Evolutionary Perspectives on Religion’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 2008, 37, 111–30.

Part 13: Religion in Socio-cultural Change

63. Melville J. Herskovits, ‘African Gods and Catholic Saints in New World Religious Belief’, American Anthropologist, 1937, XXXIX, 635–43.

64. Lauriston Sharp, ‘Steel Axes for Stone-Age Australians’, Human Organization, 1952, 11, 2, 457–64.

65. J. S. Slotkin, ‘The Peyote Way’, Tomorrow, 1955–6, IV, 3, 64–70.

66. John R. Hall, ‘Apocalypse at Jonestown’, Society, 1979, 16, 52–61.

67. Mart Bax, ‘Marian Apparitions in Medjugorge: Rivalling Religious Regimes and State-Formation in Yugoslavia’, in Eric R. Wolf (ed.), Religious Regimes and State-Formation: Perspectives from European Ethnology (State University of New York Press, 1991), pp. 29–53.

68. Peter M. Worsley, ‘Cargo Cults’, Scientific American, 1959, 200, 117–28.

69. A. F. C. Wallace, ‘Revitalization Movements’, Culture and Personality, 2nd edn. (Random House, 1970), pp. 188–99.

70. Karen McCarthy Brown, ‘Vodou’, in Lindsay Jones (ed.), Encyclopedia of Religion, Vol. 14 (Thomson Gale, 2005), pp. 9634–9.

71. Mary Lee Daugherty, ‘Serpent Handling as Sacrament’, Theology Today, 1976, 33, 3, 232–43.

72. Michael Barkun, ‘Reflections After Waco: Millennialists and the State’, Christian Century, 2 June 1993, 596–600.

73. Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff, ‘Alien Nation: Zombies, Immigrants, and Millennial Capitalism’, South Atlantic Quarterly, 2002, 101, 4, 779–805.

74. Mahmood Mamdani, ‘Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: A Political Perspective on Culture and Terrorism’, American Anthropologist, 2002, 104, 3, 766–75.

75. Joel Robbins, ‘The Globalization of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 2004, 33, 117–43.

76. Lewis R. Rambo, ‘Anthropology and the Study of Conversion’, in Andrew Buckser and Stephen D. Glazier (eds.), The Anthropology of Religious Conversion (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), pp. 211–22.

77. T. M. Luhrmann, ‘The Goat and the Gazelle: Witchcraft’, Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft: Ritual Magic in Contemporary England (Harvard University Press, 1989), pp. 42–54.

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