Cultural Anthropology Chapter 13: Religion

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Terms in this set (19)
ShamansA part time religious practitioner with special abilities to connect individuals with supernatural powers or beingsMagicThe use of spells, incantations, words, and actions in an attempt to compel supernatural forces to act in certain ways, whether for good or for evilImitative MagicA ritual performance that achieves efficacy by imitating the desired magical resultsContagious MagicRitual words or performances that achieve efficacy as certain materials that come into contact with one person carry a magical connection that allows power to be transferred from person to personSymbolAnything that signifies something elseAuthorizing ProcessThe complex historical and social developments through which symbols are given power and meaningWhat are the stages of a rite of passage and when do such rites usually occur?Step 1 is Separation (from the old self), step 2 is Liminality (the transition in-between self/threshold), and finally step 3 is the Reincorporation (integration into the new self).In E.E. Evans-Pritchard's study of witchcraft in the 1930s in what is now South Sudan, what does he believe are the functions of witchcraft for the society?Instead of their witchcraft involving rituals, spells or medicines, it involves a psychic power that may be used consciously or unconsciously by a witch—a woman or a man—to cause misfortunes or death. Instead these ideas for the Azande society formed consistent, comprehensive, and rational systems of though within their daily lives and social structures. Magic explained things that did not make sense otherwise, it provided an alternative theory of causation that supplemented the theory of natural causation, and helped explain what could not be explained by scientific study of nature.How does religion operate in your life or for other people with whom you have associated? Is it a force for social cohesion and community? Is it a force of social control and conformity? Is it a lens through which you interpret events in your life and in the world?.