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Reflecting on the readings “Why We Became Religious
and
The Evolution of the Spirit World” by Harris and “Religious
Perspectives in Anthropology” by Lee, present your own
definition of religion as well as your own theory of how/why
humans have developed religious beliefs. Support this definition
with specific ethnographic examples. Be prepared to
respectfully debate with your classmates.
Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length.
Support your claims with examples from required material(s)
and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any
references.
I do not have the required reading, but here is an outline of the
articles mentioned above:
Article:
Why We Became Religious and The Evolution of the Spirit
World by Marvin Harris
What is Religious Belief?
-causal associations
--"superstitious" responses
-animism
--world shared with spiritual beings
--concept of soul
--universal basis of all religious thought
Evolution of the Spirit World
-universality of spirit types
-ancestor worship
--band and village societies
--highly structured/specialized societies
Article:
Religious Perspectives in Anthropology by Dorothy Lee
Religion is Universal
-many variations
-embedded within worldview in "primitive" societies
--approach to nature
--view of the universe
--the role of human beings in the world
Religion Permeates Material Culture
-agriculture
-hunting
-health measures
-arts and crafts
Communion with the Unknowable in Nature
-spirit
-power
-ultimate reality
-supreme being
-personal worth
Human Experience of Communion
-humility, respect, fear
-recognition of spiritual worth
-engenders a certain kind of behavior toward the world
Western Approach
-a presupposed separation
-humans outside nature
Other Approaches
-communion with nature is presupposed
-integration of lifestyle with religious views and practices
-humans as a part of nature
--Wintu woman's story
--Navajo agriculture
--Hopi art
--Tikopia canoe repair
Animistic Attitude Toward Nature and Humans
-Ruth Benedict
--reverence, respect, humility
--intimate belongingness
-democratic
-varying conceptions of human agency
-permeates everyday life and activities
-immediate personal relatedness to the divine

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Reflecting on the readings Why We Became Religious and The Evol.docx

  • 1. Reflecting on the readings “Why We Became Religious and The Evolution of the Spirit World” by Harris and “Religious Perspectives in Anthropology” by Lee, present your own definition of religion as well as your own theory of how/why humans have developed religious beliefs. Support this definition with specific ethnographic examples. Be prepared to respectfully debate with your classmates. Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. I do not have the required reading, but here is an outline of the articles mentioned above: Article: Why We Became Religious and The Evolution of the Spirit World by Marvin Harris What is Religious Belief? -causal associations --"superstitious" responses -animism --world shared with spiritual beings --concept of soul --universal basis of all religious thought Evolution of the Spirit World -universality of spirit types -ancestor worship --band and village societies --highly structured/specialized societies Article: Religious Perspectives in Anthropology by Dorothy Lee Religion is Universal -many variations
  • 2. -embedded within worldview in "primitive" societies --approach to nature --view of the universe --the role of human beings in the world Religion Permeates Material Culture -agriculture -hunting -health measures -arts and crafts Communion with the Unknowable in Nature -spirit -power -ultimate reality -supreme being -personal worth Human Experience of Communion -humility, respect, fear -recognition of spiritual worth -engenders a certain kind of behavior toward the world Western Approach -a presupposed separation -humans outside nature Other Approaches -communion with nature is presupposed -integration of lifestyle with religious views and practices -humans as a part of nature --Wintu woman's story --Navajo agriculture --Hopi art --Tikopia canoe repair Animistic Attitude Toward Nature and Humans -Ruth Benedict --reverence, respect, humility --intimate belongingness -democratic -varying conceptions of human agency
  • 3. -permeates everyday life and activities -immediate personal relatedness to the divine