a people's dualistically symbolic consciousness of a spiritual dimension to ordinary life primarily consisting of spirits and forces that they ritually interact with at specific places and times as a means of realizing their desires.
value judgements( half of the world is good and half is bad) ie. up and down, Heaven and Hell, right and left, light and dark
belief in a power or force that we have to live in accordance with(Marett), example: chi in China
anything done to an image of you affects you, "like produces like", example: voodoo dolls
affecting someone through direct contact, example:taking something from a particular location, person, etc.
methods of contact
1.)prayer 2.)music and dance 3.)possession 4.)hallucinogens 5.)meditation 6.)sacrifice 7.)communal rites 8.)inspirational activities 9.)dreams and visions 10.)symbolic action
synchronize actions with passage of time in nature(passage of the day, week, year; lunar, seasonal)
occur in immediate response to something, ie. a crisis(intensification, healing, assurance)
rites of assurance
used to reassure people of the success of whatever activity they're engaging in(rituals, taboos, fetishes); one of the most important functions of religion
provides an explanation, gives meaning to peoples' lives, religious narratives(myths, stories)
source of consolation-suffering is inescapable in life-suffering=stress, death,illness,alienation, etc.
sensuous stimulation-religious occasions/festivites are the most celebrated times of the year
principle source of guidance=map, cmpass, blueprint(sets out acceptable bahaviors, taboos, etc.)
offers resolve-people are able to do things through religious inspiration that they otherwise wouldn't be able to do
social order/social solidarity- people are working towards the same goal, cooperation, etc.
people can change their way of life/alter their social dynamics- revitalization movements(end a condition of suffering and bring about a new and better way of life; most are cults though)
human adaptation- religion is a necessary component with respect to human success, example: religion is basis of daily activity-calendar, helps with synchronization of natural world which leads to economic success
"light and dark" can be reconciled because it all forms a whole, Taoism
"light and dark" can't be reconciled because it's a black and white world, us