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Chapter 15 Religion Chapter Questions What is religion? What does religion do in a society? How are religious beliefs and rituals different in various cultures? What roles do sacred stories and symbols play in relation? What are some common key elements in religious rituals?

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chapter 15

Chapter 15

Religion

chapter questions
Chapter Questions
  • What is religion?
  • What does religion do in a society?
  • How are religious beliefs and rituals different in various cultures?
  • What roles do sacred stories and symbols play in relation?
  • What are some common key elements in religious rituals?
  • What are the differences between prayer, sacrifice and magic?
  • How do priests differ from shamans?
  • Under what conditions do religions change, and when do new religions form?
a human universal
A Human Universal
  • Defining Religion
  • Belief in the supernatural.
  • Religion origins.
  • No religion is more evolved.
origins of religion
Origins of Religion
  • Neanderthal graves
  • Paleolithic art- 200,000 to 300,000 years ago.
functions of religion in society
Functions of Religion in Society
  • Explains aspects of the physical and social environment.
  • Helps people understand the world.
  • Preserves the social order.
  • Includes practices aimed at ensuring success.
religion preserves social order
Religion Preserves Social Order
  • Sacred stories and rituals.
  • Function of rituals.
  • Important educational institution.
sacred narratives
Sacred Narratives
  • Stories of historical events, heroes, gods, spirits, and the origin of all things.
  • Have a sacred power that is evoked by telling them or acting them out ritually.
  • Validate or legitimize beliefs, values, and customs.
ritual
Ritual
  • Act involving the manipulation of religious symbols.
  • Certain patterns of religious behavior.
rite of passage
Rite of Passage

Three phases:

  • Separation
  • Liminal
  • Reincorporation
addressing the supernatural
Addressing the Supernatural
  • Prayer
  • Sacrifice
  • Magic
  • Divination
prayer
Prayer
  • Communication between people and spirits or gods.
  • Results- spirit world rather than human actions.
  • A request, a pleading, or a praise.
    • Healing power?
image of the witch
Image of the Witch
  • Two Universal constants
    • Witches represent people’s deepest fears of selves & society
    • Witches represent a reversal of all normal behavior
witch craze of europe
Witch Craze of Europe
  • Plague swept through Europe, and the medieval social and religious order collapsed in war and chaos.
  • People believed witches were the cause of their misery.
  • Thousands of suspected witches were put to death.
priest shaman
Shaman

Part Time Practitioner

Personal communication with supernatural being

Get powers by “divine stroke”

Present in food-gathering cultures

Priests

Full Time Practitioner

Trained specialist

Power from codified rituals

Agricultural/industrial societies

Priest & Shaman
religions and change
Religions and Change
  • Revitalization movements.
  • Result from oppression, cultural loss and loss of identity.
  • Examples: Native American Ghost Dance and Native American Church
    • Cults
religion in the u s
Religion in the U.S.
  • Roman Catholicism is the largest with 24% of the adult population.
  • Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant comprising 220 denominations, represent 36% of the adult population.
  • Approximately 1.5% of the population is Jewish.
  • Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the U.S. with 1% of the adult population.