Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft / Edition 1

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This concise introductory textbook emphasizes the major concepts of anthropology in general and the anthropology of religion in particular, and is aimed at students encountering anthropology for the first time.

Highlights of This Edition:

• Illustrates concepts with examples drawn from primarily tribal or traditional societies, along with examples from the "world's great religions," exposing students to a wide range of cultures and religious traditions.
• Draws examples from societies of varying technological complexity, classic ethnographies, and everyday scenarios.
• Incorporates research from both classic and recent literature.
• Represents all major geographic regions, giving students a global view of the subject matter.
• Focuses on the varieties of religious expression cross-culturally, not on theory, although some theory is discussed.
• Discusses the basic nature and concepts of anthropology and carefully defines basic terms and concepts so that students get a good working knowledge of the discipline.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205344215
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/20/2004
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.96 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

1. The Anthropological Study of Religion.

The Anthropological Perspective.

The Definition of Religion.

2. Mythology.

The Nature of Myths.

Understanding Myths.

3. Religious Symbols.

What Is A Symbol?

Sacred Art.

Sacred Self, Space and Time.

The Symbolism of Music and Dance.

The Connection Between Symbol, Myth and Worldview.

4. Ritual.

Ritual and Myth.

The Basics of ritual Performance.

A Classification of Rituals.

Religious Obligations.

5. Altered States of Consciousness and Religious Practitioners.

Altered States of Consciousness.

Religious Specialists.

6. Magic and Divination.

Magic and Religion.

Magic in the Trobriand Islands.

Rules of magic.


7. Souls, Ghosts and Death.

Souls and Ghosts.


Bodies and Souls.

Death Rituals.

Days of Death.

8. Gods and Spirits.



9. Witchcraft.

The Concept of Witchcraft in Small-Scale Societies.

Euro-American Witchcraft Beliefs.


10. Syncretism and Religious Movements.

Adaptation and Change.

Revitalization Movements.

New Religious Movements.

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