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Animism from Latin : anima , ' breath , spirit , life ' [1] [2] is the belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of many indigenous peoples , [7] especially in contrast to the relatively more recent development of organised religions.

Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, animism is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples' "spiritual" or "supernatural" perspectives. The animistic perspective is so widely held and inherent to most indigenous peoples that they often do not even have a word in their languages that corresponds to "animism" or even "religion" ; [9] the term is an anthropological construct.

Largely due to such ethnolinguistic and cultural discrepancies, opinion has differed on whether animism refers to an ancestral mode of experience common to indigenous peoples around the world, or to a full-fledged religion in its own right. The currently accepted definition of animism was only developed in the late 19th century by Sir Edward Tylor , who formulated it as "one of anthropology 's earliest concepts, if not the first.

Animism encompasses the beliefs that all material phenomena have agency, that there exists no hard and fast distinction between the spiritual and physical or material world and that soul or spirit or sentience exists not only in humans but also in other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers or other entities of the natural environment: water sprites , vegetation deities , tree sprites , etc.

Animism may further attribute a life force to abstract concepts such as words, true names , or metaphors in mythology. Some members of the non-tribal world also consider themselves animists such as author Daniel Quinn , sculptor Lawson Oyekan , and many contemporary Pagans. Sir Edward Tylor had initially wanted to describe the phenomenon as spiritualism , but realised that such would cause confusion with the modern religion of Spiritualism , which was then prevalent across Western nations.

The first known usage in English appeared in Earlier anthropological perspectives, which have since been termed the old animism , were concerned with knowledge on what is alive and what factors make something alive. The idea of animism was developed by anthropologist Sir Edward Tylor through his book Primitive Culture , [1] in which he defined it as "the general doctrine of souls and other spiritual beings in general".

According to Tylor, animism often includes "an idea of pervading life and will in nature;" [19] a belief that natural objects other than humans have souls.

This formulation was little different from that proposed by Auguste Comte as " fetishism ", [20] but the terms now have distinct meanings. For Tylor, animism represented the earliest form of religion, being situated within an evolutionary framework of religion that has developed in stages and which will ultimately lead to humanity rejecting religion altogether in favor of scientific rationality.

However, it was based on erroneous, unscientific observations about the nature of reality. The idea that there had once been "one universal form of primitive religion" whether labeled animism , totemism , or shamanism has been dismissed as "unsophisticated" and "erroneous" by archaeologist Timothy Insoll , who stated that "it removes complexity, a precondition of religion now, in all its variants".

Tylor's definition of animism was part of a growing international debate on the nature of "primitive society" by lawyers, theologians, and philologists. The debate defined the field of research of a new science: anthropology.

By the end of the 19th century, an orthodoxy on "primitive society" had emerged, but few anthropologists still would accept that definition. The "19th-century armchair anthropologists" argued, "primitive society" an evolutionary category was ordered by kinship and divided into exogamous descent groups related by a series of marriage exchanges.

Their religion was animism, the belief that natural species and objects had souls. With the development of private property, the descent groups were displaced by the emergence of the territorial state.

These rituals and beliefs eventually evolved over time into the vast array of "developed" religions. According to Tylor, the more scientifically advanced a society became, the fewer members of that society believed in animism. However, any remnant ideologies of souls or spirits, to Tylor, represented "survivals" of the original animism of early humanity. In three years after Tylor proposed his definition of animism , Edinburgh lawyer John Ferguson McLennan , argued that the animistic thinking evident in fetishism gave rise to a religion he named totemism.

Primitive people believed, he argued, that they were descended from the same species as their totemic animal. Anthropologists "have commonly avoided the issue of animism and even the term itself rather than revisit this prevalent notion in light of their new and rich ethnographies ". According to anthropologist Tim Ingold , animism shares similarities to totemism but differs in its focus on individual spirit beings which help to perpetuate life, whereas totemism more typically holds that there is a primary source, such as the land itself or the ancestors, who provide the basis to life.

Certain indigenous religious groups such as the Australian Aboriginals are more typically totemic in their worldview, whereas others like the Inuit are more typically animistic. From his studies into child development, Jean Piaget suggested that children were born with an innate animist worldview in which they anthropomorphized inanimate objects and that it was only later that they grew out of this belief.

Stewart Guthrie saw animism—or "attribution" as he preferred it—as an evolutionary strategy to aid survival. He argued that both humans and other animal species view inanimate objects as potentially alive as a means of being constantly on guard against potential threats. Many anthropologists ceased using the term animism , deeming it to be too close to early anthropological theory and religious polemic. The new animism emerged largely from the publications of anthropologist Irving Hallowell , produced on the basis of his ethnographic research among the Ojibwe communities of Canada in the midth century.

Hallowell's approach to the understanding of Ojibwe personhood differed strongly from prior anthropological concepts of animism. More recently postmodern anthropologists are increasingly engaging with the concept of animism.

Modernism is characterized by a Cartesian subject-object dualism that divides the subjective from the objective, and culture from nature. In the modernist view, animism is the inverse of scientism , and hence is deemed inherently invalid by some anthropologists.

Drawing on the work of Bruno Latour , some anthropologists question modernist assumptions and theorize that all societies continue to "animate" the world around them. In contrast to Tylor's reasoning, however, this "animism" is considered to be more than just a remnant of primitive thought. More specifically, the "animism" of modernity is characterized by humanity's "professional subcultures", as in our ability to treat the world as a detached entity within a delimited sphere of activity.

Human beings continue to create personal relationships with elements of the aforementioned objective world, such as pets, cars, or teddy-bears, which are recognized as subjects.

As such, these entities are "approached as communicative subjects rather than the inert objects perceived by modernists". Nurit Bird-David argues that: [26]. Positivistic ideas about the meaning of 'nature', 'life' and 'personhood' misdirected these previous attempts to understand the local concepts. Classical theoreticians it is argued attributed their own modernist ideas of self to 'primitive peoples' while asserting that the 'primitive peoples' read their idea of self into others!

She explains that animism is a "relational epistemology" rather than a failure of primitive reasoning. That is, self-identity among animists is based on their relationships with others, rather than any distinctive features of the "self". Instead of focusing on the essentialized, modernist self the "individual" , persons are viewed as bundles of social relationships "dividuals" , some of which include "superpersons" i.

Stewart Guthrie expressed criticism of Bird-David's attitude towards animism, believing that it promulgated the view that "the world is in large measure whatever our local imagination makes it.

Like Bird-David, Tim Ingold argues that animists do not see themselves as separate from their environment: [41]. Hunter-gatherers do not, as a rule, approach their environment as an external world of nature that has to be 'grasped' intellectually…indeed the separation of mind and nature has no place in their thought and practice.

Rane Willerslev extends the argument by noting that animists reject this Cartesian dualism and that the animist self identifies with the world, "feeling at once within and apart from it so that the two glide ceaselessly in and out of each other in a sealed circuit.

Cultural ecologist and philosopher David Abram promotes an ethical and ecological understanding of animism grounded in the phenomenology of sensory experience. In his books The Spell of the Sensuous and Becoming Animal, Abram suggests that material things are never entirely passive in our direct perceptual experience, holding rather that perceived things actively "solicit our attention" or "call our focus," coaxing the perceiving body into an ongoing participation with those things.

In the absence of intervening technologies, he suggests, sensory experience is inherently animistic in that it discloses a material field that is animate and self-organizing from the get-go. Drawing upon contemporary cognitive and natural science , as well as upon the perspectival worldviews of diverse indigenous oral cultures, Abram proposes a richly pluralist and story-based cosmology in which matter is alive through and through.

He suggests that such a relational ontology is in close accord with our spontaneous perceptual experience; it would draw us back to our senses and to the primacy of the sensuous terrain, enjoining a more respectful and ethical relation to the more-than-human community of animals, plants, soils, mountains, waters, and weather-patterns that materially sustains us.

In contrast to a long-standing tendency in the Western social sciences, which commonly provide rational explanations of animistic experience, Abram develops an animistic account of reason itself. He holds that civilized reason is sustained only by intensely animistic participation between human beings and their own written signs.

For instance, as soon as we turn our gaze toward the alphabetic letters written on a page or a screen, we "see what they say"—the letters, that is, seem to speak to us—much as spiders, trees, gushing rivers and lichen-encrusted boulders once spoke to our oral ancestors. For Abram, reading can usefully be understood as an intensely concentrated form of animism, one that effectively eclipses all of the other, older, more spontaneous forms of animistic participation in which we once engaged.

To tell the story in this manner—to provide an animistic account of reason, rather than the other way around—is to imply that animism is the wider and more inclusive term and that oral, mimetic modes of experience still underlie, and support, all our literate and technological modes of reflection. When reflection's rootedness in such bodily, participatory modes of experience is entirely unacknowledged or unconscious, reflective reason becomes dysfunctional, unintentionally destroying the corporeal, sensuous world that sustains it.

Religious studies scholar Graham Harvey defined animism as the belief "that the world is full of persons, only some of whom are human, and that life is always lived in relationship with others. There is ongoing disagreement and no general consensus as to whether animism is merely a singular, broadly encompassing religious belief [48] or a worldview in and of itself, comprising many diverse mythologies found worldwide in many diverse cultures. In many animistic world views, the human being is often regarded as on a roughly equal footing with other animals, plants, and natural forces.

A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits , who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual , and practices divination and healing. According to Mircea Eliade , shamanism encompasses the premise that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds. The shaman also enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community.

The shaman operates primarily within the spiritual world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the ailment. Abram, however, articulates a less supernatural and much more ecological understanding of the shaman's role than that propounded by Eliade. Drawing upon his own field research in Indonesia, Nepal, and the Americas, Abram suggests that in animistic cultures, the shaman functions primarily as an intermediary between the human community and the more-than-human community of active agencies—the local animals, plants, and landforms mountains, rivers, forests, winds, and weather patterns, all of which are felt to have their own specific sentience.

Christian animism is a biocentric approach that understands God being present in all earthly objects, such as animals, trees, and rocks. Animism is not the same as pantheism , although the two are sometimes confused.

Moreover, some religions are both pantheistic and animistic. One of the main differences is that while animists believe everything to be spiritual in nature, they do not necessarily see the spiritual nature of everything in existence as being united monism , the way pantheists do. As a result, animism puts more emphasis on the uniqueness of each individual soul. Animism entails the belief that "all living things have a soul," and thus a central concern of animist thought surrounds how animals can be eaten or otherwise used for humans' subsistence needs.

In animist world-views, non-human animals are understood to participate in kinship systems and ceremonies with humans, as well as having their own kinship systems and ceremonies. The assembled participants called out kitpu 'eagle' , conveying welcome to the bird and expressing pleasure at its beauty, and they later articulated the view that the eagle's actions reflected its approval of the event and the Mi'kmaq's return to traditional spiritual practices.

Some animists also view plant and fungi life as persons and interact with them accordingly. In other instances, animists believe that interaction with plant and fungi persons can result in the communication of things unknown or even otherwise unknowable. Various animistic cultures also comprehend stones as persons. The importance of place is also a recurring element of animism, with some places being understood to be persons in their own right. Animism can also entail relationships being established with non-corporeal spirit entities.

Physicist Nick Herbert has argued for "quantum animism" in which the mind permeates the world at every level:. The quantum consciousness assumption, which amounts to a kind of "quantum animism" likewise asserts that consciousness is an integral part of the physical world, not an emergent property of special biological or computational systems.

Since everything in the world is on some level a quantum system, this assumption requires that everything be conscious on that level. If the world is truly quantum animated, then there is an immense amount of invisible inner experience going on all around us that is presently inaccessible to humans, because our own inner lives are imprisoned inside a small quantum system, isolated deep in the meat of an animal brain.

Werner Krieglstein wrote regarding his quantum Animism :. Herbert's quantum Animism differs from traditional Animism in that it avoids assuming a dualistic model of mind and matter. Traditional dualism assumes that some kind of spirit inhabits a body and makes it move, a ghost in the machine. Herbert's quantum Animism presents the idea that every natural system has an inner life, a conscious center, from which it directs and observes its action.

In Error and Loss: A Licence to Enchantment , [87] Ashley Curtis has argued that the Cartesian idea of an experiencing subject facing off with an inert physical world is incoherent at its very foundation and that this incoherence is predicted rather than belied by Darwinism.

AltaMira Press

While Ramos-Horta may have been resorting to a conventional style of political rhetoric in order to emphasize his aspiration to be a president of all the Timorese, in light of the then prevailing political situation it is at least equally likely he was taking note of a curious development in the political rhetoric of the country. My intention in this paper is to examine the distinction and to assess its merits as an authentic verbal model of Timorese socio-political identity I shall commence with some ethnographic observations relevant to this inquiry and then discuss the origin of this dualism, consider its semantic nature, and examine the extent to which it is sociologically and politically viable. When other verbal markets of identity are considered in the context of this opposition, the problem — as we shall see — involves social classification and identification. Finally, taking into account claims that this contrast has the potential for weakening the nation-state I shall remark a division whose destructive potential is far realer than the alleged division between easterners and westerners.

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Ritual and Belief: Readings in the Anthropology of Religion / Edition 3

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Ritual and Belief has been designed for the undergraduate academic setting, as a way for professors of anthropology or religious studies to deliver a packet of classic articles from a wide variety of scholars at a price that s lower than the cost of these scholars original, book-length works would. Ritual and Belief: Readings in the Anthropology of Religion is a collection of 41 readings in religion, magic, and witchcraft. The choice of readings is eclectic: no single anthropological approach or theoretical perspective dominatesRitual and Belief book. Intended for the Anthropology of Religion course, this work includes:.

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Mortal Rituals

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Animism from Latin : anima , ' breath , spirit , life ' [1] [2] is the belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of many indigenous peoples , [7] especially in contrast to the relatively more recent development of organised religions. Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, animism is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples' "spiritual" or "supernatural" perspectives. The animistic perspective is so widely held and inherent to most indigenous peoples that they often do not even have a word in their languages that corresponds to "animism" or even "religion" ; [9] the term is an anthropological construct. Largely due to such ethnolinguistic and cultural discrepancies, opinion has differed on whether animism refers to an ancestral mode of experience common to indigenous peoples around the world, or to a full-fledged religion in its own right. The currently accepted definition of animism was only developed in the late 19th century by Sir Edward Tylor , who formulated it as "one of anthropology 's earliest concepts, if not the first. Animism encompasses the beliefs that all material phenomena have agency, that there exists no hard and fast distinction between the spiritual and physical or material world and that soul or spirit or sentience exists not only in humans but also in other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers or other entities of the natural environment: water sprites , vegetation deities , tree sprites , etc.

Ritual and Belief. Ritual and Belief: Readings in the Anthropology of Religion is a collection of 41 readings in religion, magic, and witchcraft. The choice of readings is eclectic: no single anthropological approach or theoretical perspective dominates the text. Theoretical significance, scholarly eminence of the author, and inherent interest provide the principal criteria, and each reading complements its companion chapters, which are pedagogically coherent rather than ad hoc assemblages. Included among the theoretical perspectives are structural-functionalism, structuralism, Malinowskian functionalism, cultural materialism, and cultural evolutionism; also included are the synchronic and diachronic approaches. The book offers a mixture of classic readings and more recent contributions, and the 'world religions' are included along with examples from the religions of traditionally non-literate cultures.


and Richard Huntington: Symbolic Associations of Death Reading David Hicks: Making the King Divine: A Case Study in Ritual Regicide from Timor Ask.


References

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В феврале того года, когда Энсею исполнилось двенадцать, его приемным родителям позвонили из токийской фирмы, производящей компьютеры, и предложили их сыну-калеке принять участие в испытаниях новой клавиатуры, которую фирма сконструировала для детей с физическими недостатками. Родители согласились. Хотя Энсей Танкадо никогда прежде не видел компьютера, он как будто инстинктивно знал, как с ним обращаться. Компьютер открыл перед ним мир, о существовании которого он даже не подозревал, и вскоре заполнил всю его жизнь. Повзрослев, он начал давать компьютерные уроки, зарабатывать деньги и в конце концов получил стипендию для учебы в Университете Досися. Вскоре слава о фугуся-кисай, гениальном калеке, облетела Токио. Со временем Танкадо прочитал о Пёрл-Харборе и военных преступлениях японцев.

Беккер повернул рычажок под топливным баком и снова нажал на стартер. Мотор кашлянул и захлебнулся. - El anillo. Кольцо, - совсем близко прозвучал голос. Беккер поднял глаза и увидел наведенный на него ствол. Барабан повернулся.

Ritual and Belief

Хорошенькое зрелище, - подумал Беккер.

Машина упала на бок и замерла. На затекших ногах Беккер прошел через вращающуюся дверь. Больше никаких мотоциклов, пообещал он .

Может быть, можно взглянуть? - Он встал и начал обходить круг терминалов, двигаясь по направлению к. Сьюзан понимала, что сегодня любопытство Хейла может привести к большим неприятностям, поэтому быстро приняла решение.

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