Religion: A Humanist Interpretation represents a lifetime's work on the anthropology of religion from a rather unusual personal viewpoint. Raymond Firth treats religion as a human art, capable of great intellectual and artistic achievements, but also of complex manipulation to serve the human interests of those who believe in it and operate it. His study is comparative, drawing material from a range of religions around the world. Its findings are a challenge to established beliefs.
This anthropological approach to the study of religion covers themes ranging from; religious belief and personal adjustment; gods and God; offering and sacrifice;religion and politics; Malay magic and spirit mediumship; truth and paradox in religion.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 An anthropological approach to the study of religion; Chapter 2 Religious belief and personal adjustment; Chapter 3 Spiritual aroma?; Chapter 4 Gods and God; Chapter 5 Offering and sacrifice; Chapter 6 Ritual and drama in malay spirit mediumship; Chapter 7 Faith and scepticism in kelantan village magic; Chapter 8 Paradox in religious systems; Chapter 9 The truth of religion?;
Professor Sir Raymond Firth was a pupil and colleague of Malinowski at the London School of Economics and is internationally regarded as one of this century's great anthropologists. His books include Human Types (1938), Malay Fishermen (1946), Symbols Public and Private (1973) and range from We, the Tikopia (1936) to Tikopia Songs (1991).