Selected Readings in the Anthropology of Religion: Theoretical and Methodological Essays

Forside
Stephen D. Glazier, Charles Flowerday
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - 291 sider

Brings together in one volume a number of key theoretical and methodological advances in the anthropological study of religion. Chapters cover important topics not ordinarily included in books dealing with the anthropology of religion (e.g., bipedalism, the study of alcohol, film and video images, notions of religious agency). In addition, this collection is intended to build bridges between anthropologists of religion and religious studies scholars.

Over the last four decades, anthropologists have grappled with the dialectical relationship between the examination of cultures from the emic, or insider, perspective, and the etic, or outsider, perspective. Nowhere is this creative tension more evident than in the anthropological study of religion. In this volume, anthropologists and religious studies scholars come to terms not only with a landscape that has shifted fundamentally, but a landscape that is still shifting.

Essays in this collection raise new and important issues for the anthropological study of religion in new and important ways. In intensely personal essays, a number of contributors address two fundamental concerns in the study of religion: (1) how should anthropologists deal with the beliefs and practices of others?, and (2) how should anthropologists deal with their own religious backgrounds and beliefs as these may affect their understanding of the beliefs and practices of others? A partial resolution to both questions is necessary before the anthropological study of religion can advance to a higher level.

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Innhold

Introduction
1
Theoretical Essays
15
Clifford Geertzs Interpretive Approach to Religion
17
Answers and Questions EvansPritchard on Nuer Religion
35
The Biolinkage of Religion and Bipedalism
53
Defining Religion
61
Agency and Religious Agency in Cognitive Perspective
99
Methodological Essays
107
Fear of Religious Emotion versus the Need for Research That Encompasses the Fullest Experiences
109
Dilemmas of Ethnographic Research on Sectarian Movements A Confessional Account
119
Alcohol in the Study of Anthropology and Religion
143
Images of the Sacred Embodiments of the Other Representing Religious Experience on Film and Video
165
The Use of Visual Media in the Study of Religious Belief and Practice
223
Index
273
About the Editors and Contributors
289
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Side 94 - The derivation of religious needs from the infant's helplessness and the longing for the father aroused by it seems to me incontrovertible, especially since the feeling is not simply prolonged from childhood days, but is permanently sustained by fear of the superior power of Fate. I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection.
Side 24 - The culture of a people is an ensemble of texts, themselves ensembles which the anthropologist strains to read over the shoulders of those to whom they properly belong.
Side 88 - A people's ethos is the tone, character, and quality of their life, its moral and aesthetic style and mood; it is the underlying attitude toward themselves and their world that life reflects. Their world view is their picture of the way things in sheer actuality are, their concept of nature, of self, of society. It contains their most comprehensive ideas of order.
Side 88 - Without further ado, then, a religion is: (1) a system of symbols which acts to (2) establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.
Side 19 - There are at least three points where chaos - a tumult of events which lack not just interpretations but interpretability — threatens to break in upon man: at the limits of his analytic capacities, at the limits of his powers of endurance, and at the limits of his moral insight. Bafflement, suffering, and a sense of intractable ethical paradox are all, if they become intense enough or are sustained long enough, radical challenges to the proposition that life is comprehensible and that we can, by...
Side 21 - In religious belief and practice a group's ethos is rendered intellectually reasonable by being shown to represent a way of life ideally adapted to the actual state of affairs...
Side 81 - It will be our endeavour to suggest this unnamed Something to the reader as far as we may, so that he may himself feel it.
Side 111 - The ultimate goal of the human sciences is not to constitute man but to dissolve him. The critical importance of ethnology is that it represents the first step in a process which includes others.
Side 25 - phenomenalistic" observation of them alone one could not tell which was twitch and which was wink, or indeed whether both or either was twitch or wink. Yet the difference, however unphotographable, between a twitch and a wink is vast, as anyone unfortunate enough to have had the first taken for the second knows. The winker is communicating, and indeed communicating in a quite precise and special way...
Side 28 - The first of these is that culture is best seen not as complexes of concrete behavior patterns — customs, usages, traditions, habit clusters — as has, by and large, been the case up to now, but as a set of control mechanisms — plans, recipes, rules, instructions (what computer engineers call "programs") — for the governing of behavior.

Om forfatteren (2003)

STEPHEN D. GLAZIER is Professor of Anthropology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

CHARLES A. FLOWERDAY is Editor, Conservation Survey Division, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

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