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Religion as Exchange   The Gift Economy
Indigenous Body• The meaning of the body is connected to its  locality  – Aymara or Sherpa• Body is not self-made but the ...
Body and Ancestors• We exist because of the activities of others• Bodies are a reflection of those before us• Ancestors ar...
Are we in charge of our bodies?• If the ancestors are important factors in our  bodies then what does this imply  – We lea...
Shaman• Siberian term for a ceremonial specialist• Intermediary between human beings and  spiritual beings• Not a priest b...
Religious Dimensions of food• Diet is local and identifies a person in  particular ways• Agricultural season is the ceremo...
The Body of Food• We all grow and exist because of food• Food is a gift from the living cosmos which  fosters human life• ...
Ceremonial Exchanges• Religion as exchange• Focal point of all religions• Catholic Mass   – What is it?   – How is it an e...
Myth• Mistakenly thought of as ‘false’ or ‘untrue’  statement or story• In religion myth is true  – Model of/for reality  ...
Creation Myths• Foundational stories of how the world came  to be the way it is  – Particularly important for Indigenous P...
Mythic Exchanges• Sharing the account of Creation is a ceremony  – Creates community, identity  – Oral tradition, no writt...
Ceremonial Gift Economies• Rites of passage   – What are these?   – Gifts involved• Ceremonies are gift exchanges   – Ensu...
Medium of Ceremonial Exchanges• Shells, stones,  seeds, etc.   – Not money but     something with a     living presence   ...
Mesoamerican Ballgame• Aztec and Maya  civilizations   – Urban city     dwellers• Cities all had ball  courts at their  ce...
Ulama• Played for tourists in the Yucatan• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_o1LjX18  84&mode=related&search=• Amazing Game...
Resurgence of the game           • Between soccer             (futbol), rugby,             basketball
Maya Game       • Popol Vuh       • Game first played by         Creator Twins in the         underworld against         L...
Community Game• Entire city was involved• Either the winner or  loser was the sacrificial  gift• Human sacrifice was  call...
Ballgame as Ceremonial Exchange                   • Cosmic map of city                   • Cardinal directions            ...
Religion, Sports and Money
Charles H. Long• ”(Religion) . . . will mean orientation--  orientation in the ultimate sense, that is,  how one comes to ...
Money as Religion• “Total fact” of modern existence  – Of “ultimate concern” according to Tillich• Symbolic, mythic, “fait...
What is Religion?• Exchange system between human beings and  the sacred• Indigenous traditions challenge conventional  (i....
Theology of Money• Symbolic value  – Faith-based system  – Tied to power and    prestige of its    country of origin  – Pu...
Value of Money          • Commodity             – Tied to human               labor (Marx)          • “use-value”         ...
God of Money• Otiosus—obscured and removed from the  material world• Human beings are the most important beings  – The Sel...
Gifts and Monetary Economies• Gift economy  – Human life is totally dependent on living cosmos• Monetary, profit economy  ...
How does money corrupt human             society?• Age old theme in religion  – Relationship with the sacred (gift economy...
Money and Sports• Confusing gift and  monetary economies  are evident in sports   – SU men’s Basketball     team controver...
The Gift in Sports• Sports is an exchange of gifts   – Gifts against gifts   – Book cover• ESPN series ‘life without sport...
Money in Sports• Sports is completely surrounded by money• But it cannot interfere with the event or it’s  considered chea...
Exam #1 review• Your test on February 7 will be twenty  true/false, multiple choice or fill in the blank  questions. These...
Exam #1 Terms and Names    Be able to identify & describe these terms and names as used in class and class                ...
Exam #1 Concepts Be able to analyze, compare and contrast and apply these concepts as used in class                       ...
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9 5-12-r348-exchange

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Transcript of "9 5-12-r348-exchange"

  1. 1. Religion as Exchange The Gift Economy
  2. 2. Indigenous Body• The meaning of the body is connected to its locality – Aymara or Sherpa• Body is not self-made but the material expression of a place – Intersection of vital forces• Materiality of religion – We are not philosophically bodies but material bodies
  3. 3. Body and Ancestors• We exist because of the activities of others• Bodies are a reflection of those before us• Ancestors are present in the body – Meaningless for modern people but significant fact in Indigenous religions• My high cholesterol – Genetic, meaning that it’s not my fault and not much to do about it
  4. 4. Are we in charge of our bodies?• If the ancestors are important factors in our bodies then what does this imply – We learn about them, their lives, ideas, history• Indigenous Peoples have ceremonies for the dead – Health is dependent on the degree to which there is a connection with the ancestors – Not superstition
  5. 5. Shaman• Siberian term for a ceremonial specialist• Intermediary between human beings and spiritual beings• Not a priest but a person (male or female) who has knowledge• Directs exchanges between living and dead – Often times these are sporting events
  6. 6. Religious Dimensions of food• Diet is local and identifies a person in particular ways• Agricultural season is the ceremonial cycle – Hierophanies of natural world time rituals – Ceremonies are “thanksgivings” for gifts of food• Eating requires that something die – Gifts are given to compensate – Range from expressions of thanks to sacrifice
  7. 7. The Body of Food• We all grow and exist because of food• Food is a gift from the living cosmos which fosters human life• Eating implies that we are all in constant exchange with the cosmos – Breathing too• Ceremonies are a “gift exchange economy” of living relationships
  8. 8. Ceremonial Exchanges• Religion as exchange• Focal point of all religions• Catholic Mass – What is it? – How is it an exchange?
  9. 9. Myth• Mistakenly thought of as ‘false’ or ‘untrue’ statement or story• In religion myth is true – Model of/for reality – Reflections of the “really real” world upon which the material world depends• Revealed to human beings not made up – Re-enacted in ceremonies
  10. 10. Creation Myths• Foundational stories of how the world came to be the way it is – Particularly important for Indigenous Peoples• Creation is an ancient story and happening in the present and future• Source of contemporary ceremonies including sporting events – Ceremonies transact something between beings – Myths are models for that transaction
  11. 11. Mythic Exchanges• Sharing the account of Creation is a ceremony – Creates community, identity – Oral tradition, no written texts• Ritual is a collaboration between beings in order to promote life – Everyone and everything is involved; everyone is materially connected
  12. 12. Ceremonial Gift Economies• Rites of passage – What are these? – Gifts involved• Ceremonies are gift exchanges – Ensure the future well-being of the community; healthy working of a society• Only real gift is one’s life, the vitality of one’s body• Not sentimental but material
  13. 13. Medium of Ceremonial Exchanges• Shells, stones, seeds, etc. – Not money but something with a living presence – Embodies a spiritual presence• “Wampum” for Haudenosaunee – Purple and white beads made of quahog shell
  14. 14. Mesoamerican Ballgame• Aztec and Maya civilizations – Urban city dwellers• Cities all had ball courts at their centers• East-West orientation – Followed the path of the Sun
  15. 15. Ulama• Played for tourists in the Yucatan• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_o1LjX18 84&mode=related&search=• Amazing Games for ESPN• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGUgq3gq ii4• Making a comeback
  16. 16. Resurgence of the game • Between soccer (futbol), rugby, basketball
  17. 17. Maya Game • Popol Vuh • Game first played by Creator Twins in the underworld against Lords of the Dead – Tricked the gods and brought back maize – Creation story recreated in the game
  18. 18. Community Game• Entire city was involved• Either the winner or loser was the sacrificial gift• Human sacrifice was called “debt payment” by the Aztecs
  19. 19. Ballgame as Ceremonial Exchange • Cosmic map of city • Cardinal directions • Ceremonial responsibility of human beings • Ceremonial Center • Indigenous Religion
  20. 20. Religion, Sports and Money
  21. 21. Charles H. Long• ”(Religion) . . . will mean orientation-- orientation in the ultimate sense, that is, how one comes to terms with the ultimate significance of ones place in the world. . . . . The religion of any people is more than a structure of thought; it is experience, expression, motivations, intentions, behaviors, styles, and rhythms.” Significations, vii
  22. 22. Money as Religion• “Total fact” of modern existence – Of “ultimate concern” according to Tillich• Symbolic, mythic, “faith based,” – No intrinsic worth• Materiality of our current existence – Determines the value of everything in life
  23. 23. What is Religion?• Exchange system between human beings and the sacred• Indigenous traditions challenge conventional (i.e., Constitutional) understandings of religion• Not strictly ideological--material
  24. 24. Theology of Money• Symbolic value – Faith-based system – Tied to power and prestige of its country of origin – Pure exchange value
  25. 25. Value of Money • Commodity – Tied to human labor (Marx) • “use-value” – Anthrocentric (human centered) • All life valued by money
  26. 26. God of Money• Otiosus—obscured and removed from the material world• Human beings are the most important beings – The Self is the “axis mundi” (center of the world, or ‘world axis’) of the monetary world – All things flow toward the Self
  27. 27. Gifts and Monetary Economies• Gift economy – Human life is totally dependent on living cosmos• Monetary, profit economy – Human Self is the only living being that matters• Diametrically oppose to one another
  28. 28. How does money corrupt human society?• Age old theme in religion – Relationship with the sacred (gift economy) is corrupted by an over confidence in the Self (monetary economy)
  29. 29. Money and Sports• Confusing gift and monetary economies are evident in sports – SU men’s Basketball team controversy ’11• Sports reflects colliding economies most dramatically D.C. Nationals Stadium controversy
  30. 30. The Gift in Sports• Sports is an exchange of gifts – Gifts against gifts – Book cover• ESPN series ‘life without sports’ – http://espn.go.com/withoutsports/index.html• The Hoyts – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDnrLv6z- mM&feature=related• Marathon Monks of Japan’s Mt. Hiei – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S06oMxdt40A
  31. 31. Money in Sports• Sports is completely surrounded by money• But it cannot interfere with the event or it’s considered cheating• Money cannot develop athletes – But it does motivate them at a certain stage• Indicates the power and prestige of a game – Super Bowl!!—homework – commercials
  32. 32. Exam #1 review• Your test on February 7 will be twenty true/false, multiple choice or fill in the blank questions. These questions will require you to understand the following terms, names and concepts. This is only a study guide; the test may include anything from class and class readings. If you have any questions email or visit one of the course TAs; we are here to help!
  33. 33. Exam #1 Terms and Names Be able to identify & describe these terms and names as used in class and class readings: Onondaga Nation Territory • Tim Tebow• Cornell West • ancestors• gift exchange • Evangelical Christianity• Haudenosaunee • shaman• hierophanies • Devil’s Tower• Charles Long • rites of passage• Axis Mundi • History of Religions• World Parliament of Religions • Ulama• Materiality • Deyhontsigwachs• religare • Lacrosse• habitation • commodity• Promise Keepers • use value• myth • Onward Christian Athletes
  34. 34. Exam #1 Concepts Be able to analyze, compare and contrast and apply these concepts as used in class and class readings:• The academic study of religion• Popular perceptions of religion (i.e. the media)• Descriptions of religion from Marx, Freud, Durkheim, Gandhi, Long, West, Whitehead, Vivekananda & Bell/Douglas• Sports to promote and/or evangelize for religion• Sports as religion.• Sacred sites & opposing views• Lacrosse as the Creator’s Game• Religion as habitation vs. religion as belief.• Indigenous Religions. – How are materiality, habitation, land, creation, exchange and thanksgiving part of Indigenous religions?• Consumerist culture, sports and religion• money economy vs. gift economy
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