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

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Ritual and Belief: Reading in the Anthropology of Religion is a collection of thirty-six readings in religion, magic, and witchcraft. The choice of readings is eclectic: no single anthropological approach or theoretical perspective dominates the text. Theoretical significance, the scholarly eminence of the author, and inherent interest provide the principal criteria for inclusion, 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 discusses "world religions" along with religions of traditionally nonliterate cultures.

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Editorial Reviews

Robert Winzeler
For the instructor who uses an anthology of readings either instead of an integrated text or as a supplement to one, this collection is well worth considering. No two instructors are likely to choose the same set of readings for a course in the anthropology of religion but this set has many of the classics. It can also be recommended for anyone wishing to sample what anthropologists have had to say about religion over the years.
Robert L. Winzeler
For the instructor who uses an anthology of readings either instead of an integrated text or as a supplement to one, this collection is well worth considering. No two instructors are likely to choose the same set of readings for a course in the anthropology of religion but this set has many of the classics. It can also be recommended for anyone wishing to sample what anthropologists have had to say about religion over the years.
Daniel Martin Varisco
David Hicks has a magician's touch in blending essential readings in the history of an anthropological approach to religion with an array of cross-cultural case studies that draw on the earlier theorists and display the diversity of not only religious beliefs and rituals but of ethnographic interpretation itself. Distilling the large corpus of anthropological literature on religion, past and present, is no easy task. All anthologies suffer from a relevance half-life, but Professor Hicks is to be commended for building on the pillars of past scholarship with the best recent research in the field and from the field. I plan to use the third edition and look forward to the innovations to be expected in a fourth, and why not a fifth.
Sarita Tamayo-Moraga
As an instructor of students new to the field of Religious Studies, I have found David Hicks' anthology Ritual and Belief to be an invaluable tool in the classroom. The wide array of selections from different disciplines gives the students a taste of what it means to be a scholar of religion. The new edition only further enhances the text as a resource for my students.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759111561
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 6/16/2010
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 1,291,962
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

David Hicks is professor of anthropology at the State University of New York, Stony Brook.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction xiii

1 Perspectives 1

Reading 1-1 Animism Edward B. Tylor 3

Reading 1-2 The Return of Totemism in Childhood Sigmund Freud 7

Reading 1-3 The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life Emile Durkheim 12

2 Myth, Cosmology, and Symbolic Classification 19

Reading 2-1 Harelips and Twins: The Splitting of a Myth Claude Lévi-Strauss 21

Reading 2-2 The Dogon Marcel Griaule Germaine Dieterlen 26

Reading 2-3 Pollution Mary Douglas 33

3 Gods, Spirits, and Souls 45

Reading 3-1 A Kernel of Doubt Jack Goody 47

Reading 3-2 The Universality of Ancestor Worship Lyle B. Steadman Craig T. Palmer Christopher F. Tilley 61

Reading 3-3 What Makes Anthropomorphism Natural: Intuitive Ontology and Cultural Representations Pascal Boyer 74

4 Ritual 93

Reading 4-1 Ritual Symbolism, Morality, and Social Structure among the Ndembu Victor W. Turner 94

Reading 4-2 The Rites of Passage: Conclusions Arnold van Gennep 104

Reading 4-3 "Between Belief and Unbelief Lies the Performance of Salat": Meaning and Efficacy of a Muslim Ritual Heiko Henkel 109

5 Practitioners of Ritual 133

Reading 5-1 Religious Specialists Victor W. Turner 138

Reading 5-2 The Woman Who Didn't Become a Shaman Margery Wolf 149

Reading 5-3 The Sound of Rushing Water Michael J. Harner 165

6 Body and Mind 173

Reading 6-1 My Adventure with Ebene: A "Religious Experience" Napoleon A. Chagnon 175

Reading 6-2 "Thus Are Our Bodies, Thus Was Our Custom": Mortuary Cannibalism in an Amazonian Society Beth A. Conklin 182

Reading 6-3 "In Thy Blood Live": Gender and Ritual in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition Leonie J. Archer 215

7 Magic and Witchcraft 239

Reading 7-1 Sympathetic Magic James G. Frazer 240

Reading 7-2 Men Bewitch Others When They Hate Them E. E. Evans-Pritchard 244

Reading 7-3 Baseball Magic George Gmelch 253

8 Death 263

Reading 8-1 "Voodoo" Death Walter B. Cannon 264

Reading 8-2 Symbolic Associations of Death Peter Metcalf Richard Huntington 276

Reading 8-3 Making the King Divine: A Case Study in Ritual Regicide from Timor David Hicks 286

9 Gender and Sexuality 303

Reading 9-1 The Virgin of Guadalupe: A Mexican National Symbol Eric R. Wolf 305

Reading 9-2 The Hijras of India: Cultural and Individual Dimensions of an Institutionalized Third Gender Role Serena Nanda 312

Reading 9-3 The Syphilitic Shock Stanislav Andreski 327

10 The Natural Environment 359

Reading 10-1 Cosmology as Ecological Analysis: A View from the Rain Forest G. Reichel-Dolmatoff 363

Reading 10-2 Ritual Regulation of Environmental Relations among a New Guinea People Roy A. Rappaport 376

Reading 10-3 Water Witching: An Interpretation of a Ritual Pattern in a Rural American Community Evon Z. Vogt 389

11 Agents of Change 411

Reading 11-1 Judaism, Christianity, and the Socio-Economic Order Max Weber 412

Reading 11-2 Revitalization Movements Anthony F. C. Wallace 423

Reading 11-3 Cargo Cults Peter M. Worsley 440

12 New Religious Movements 449

Reading 12-1 Apocalypse at Jonestown John R. Hall 451

Reading 12-2 The Unification Church Eileen Barker 467

Reading 12-3 Faith beyond Belief: Evangelical Protestant Conceptions of Faith and the Resonance of Anti-Humanism Omri Elisha 475

Glossary 499

General References 505

Index 507

About the Author 511

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