The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft / Edition 3

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This concise introductory textbook emphasizes the major concepts of both anthropology and the anthropology of religion. It is aimed at students encountering anthropology for the first time. Reviewers describe the text as vivid, rich, user-friendly, accessible, and well-organized.

The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft examines religious expression from a cross-cultural perspective while incorporating key theoretical concepts. In addition to providing a basic overview of anthropology, including definition of key terms and exposure to ethnographies, the text exposes students to the varying complexity of world religions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205718115
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/14/2010
  • Series: Pearson Custom Anthropology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 45,349
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca Stein has been teaching with the Los Angeles Community College District since 1995 at various colleges, as well as at Pasadena City College. She joined the Anthropology faculty at Los Angeles Valley College in 2000. Ms. Stein received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of California at Los Angeles, where she received a National Merit Scholarship. Her work has been focused in cultural and psychological anthropology, specifically concerned with child-rearing, transmitting values to children, deviance, gender and religion. She also has an interest in human biological evolution, particularly in the fields of genetics and the new field of Darwinian Psychology.

Philip L. Stein is a Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Anthropological and Geographical Sciences at Los Angeles Pierce College. He has also taught at East Los Angeles College, Los Angeles City College, and California State University, Northridge. He received his BA in Zoology and MA in Anthropology from UCLA.
Professor Stein is a fellow of the American Anthropological Association and a past president of the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges. He is also a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Physical Anthropologists, National Center for Science Education, and the Southwestern Anthropological Association.

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Table of Contents

1 The Anthropological Study of Religion 1
The Anthropological Perspective 1
The Holistic Approach
The Study of Human Societies
The Fore of New Guinea: An Ethnographic Example
Two Ways of Viewing Culture
Cultural Relativism
BOX 1.1 • Karen McCarthy Brown and Vodou
The Concept of Culture
The Study of Religion
Attempts at Defining Religion
The Domain of Religion
Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Religion
BOX 1.2 • Malinowski and the Trobriand Islands
BOX 1.3 • Evans-Pritchard and the Azande
The Biological Basis of Religious Behavior
Suggested Readings
Suggested Websites
Study Questions
2 Mythology
The Nature of Myths
Stories of the Supernatural
The Nature of Oral Texts
BOX 2.1 • Genesis
BOX 2.2 • The Gender-Neutral Christian Bible
Understanding Myths
Approaches to Analysis of Myths
BOX 2.3 • The Gururumba Creation Story
Common Themes in Myths
BOX 2.4 • The Navaho Creation Story: Diné Bahanè
BOX 2.5 • The Raven Steals the Light
BOX 2.6 • Joseph Campbell
Suggested Readings
Suggested Websites
Study Questions
3 Religious Symbols
What Is a Symbol?
Religious Symbols
BOX 3.1 • Religious Toys and Games
Sacred Art
The Sarcophagus of Lord Pakal
The Meaning of Color
Sacred Space and Sacred Time
The Meaning of Time
BOX 3.2 • The End of Time
Sacred Time and Space in Australia
The Symbolism of Music and Dance
The Symbolism of Music
The Symbolism of Dance
Suggested Readings
Suggested Websites
Study Questions
4 Ritual
The Basics of Ritual Performance
Prescriptive and Situational Rituals
Periodic and Occasional Rituals
A Classification of Rituals
A Survey of Rituals
Technological Rituals
Social Rites of Intensification
Therapy Rituals and Healing
Salvation Rituals
Revitalization Rituals
Rites of Passage
The Structure of a Rite of Passage
Coming-of-Age Rituals
Alterations of the Human Body
BOX 4.1 • The Hajj
The Huichol Pilgrimage
Religious Obligations
Jewish Food Laws
BOX 4.2 • Menstrual Tabus
Conclusion 1
BOX 4.2 • The Way of the Amish
Suggested Readings
Suggested Websites
Study Questions
5 Altered States of Consciousness
The Nature of Altered States of Consciousness
Entering an Altered State of Consciousness
The Biological Basis of Altered States of Consciousness
BOX 5.1 • Altered States in Upper Paleolithic Art
Drug-Induced Altered States
BOX 5.2 • The Native American Church
Ethnographic Examples of Altered States of Consciousness
The Holiness Churches
San Healing Rituals
The Sun Dance of the Cheyenne
Religious Use of Drugs in South America
Suggested Readings
Suggested Websites
Study Questions
6 Religious Specialists
Defining Shamanism
Siberian Shamanism
Shamanism among the Akimel O’odham
Korean Shamanism
Pentecostal Healers as Shamans
BOX 6.1 • Clown Doctors as Shamans
Aztec Priests
Zuni Priests
Okinawan Priestesses
Eastern Orthodox Priests
Other Specialists
Healers and Diviners
BOX 6.2 • African Healers Meet Western Medicine
Suggested Readings
Suggested Websites
Study Questions
7 Magic and Divination
The World of Magic
Magic and Religion
Magic and Science
Rules of Magic
The Function of Magic
Why Magic Works
Magic in Society
Magic in the Trobriand Islands
BOX 7.1 • Trobriand Island Magic
Magic among the Azande
Sorcery among the Fore
Wiccan Magic
Forms of Divination
Divination Techniques
BOX 7.2 • I Ching: The Book of Changes
Fore Divination
Oracles of the Azande
Divination in Ancient Greece: The Oracle at Delphi
Suggested Readings
Suggested Websites
Study Questions
8 Souls, Ghosts, and Death
Souls and Ancestors
Variation in the Concept of the Soul
Souls, Death, and the Afterlife
BOX 8.1 • How Do You Get to Heaven?
Examples of Concepts of the Soul
BOX 8.2 • Determining Death
Bodies and Souls
The Living Dead: Vampires and Zombies
Death Rituals
Funeral Rituals
Disposal of the Body
U.S Death Rituals in the Nineteenth Century
U.S Funeral Rituals Today
BOX 8.3 • Roadside Memorials
Days of Death
Suggested Readings
Suggested Websites
Study Questions
9 Gods and Spirits
The Dani View of the Supernatural
Guardian Spirits and the Native American Vision Quest
Christian Angels and Demons
BOX 9.1 • Christian Demonic Exorcism in the United States
Types of Gods
Gods and Society
BOX 9.2 • Games and Gods
The Gods of the Yoruba
The Gods of the Ifugao
Monotheism: Conceptions of God in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Suggested Readings
Suggested Websites
Study Questions
10 Witchcraft
The Concept of Witchcraft in Small-Scale Societies
Witchcraft among the Azande
Witchcraft among the Navaho
Witchcraft Reflects Human Culture
Sorcery, Witchcraft and AIDS
Euro-American Witchcraft Beliefs
The Connection with Pagan Religions
The Witchcraze in Europe
The Witchcraze in England and the United States
BOX 10.1 • The Evil Eye
BOX 10.2 • Satanism
Modern Day Witch Hunts
Suggested Readings
Suggested Websites
Study Questions
11 The Search for New Meaning
Adaptation and Change
Mechanisms of Culture Change
Haitian Vodou
Revitalization Movements
The Origins of Revitalization Movements
Types of Revitalization Movements
Cargo Cults
BOX 11.1 • The John Frum Cult
The Ghost Dance of 1890
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormonism)
Neo-Paganism and Revival
The Wiccan Movement
New Religious Movements
The “Cult” Question
Characteristics of High Demand Religions
Examples of New Religious Movements
UFO Religions
Characteristics of Fundamentalist Groups
BOX 11.2 • Religious Violence and Terrorism
Suggested Readings
Suggested Websites
Study Questions

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