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Anthropology of Religion and Magic Discussion

Anthropology of Religion and Magic Discussion

Question Description

Word document answering the following questions:

I.Longer Essays (at least 10-20 sentences on each topic, can write as much as you wish).

A. Magic

  1. Provide a comprehensive definition of magic. What do each of the elements in your definition contribute?
  2. Choose to explain either sympathetic magic or contiguous magic (only one). What is the underlying assumption about how the effects of the ritual are transmitted to the person who is the recipient of the magic?
  3. Provide an example of a magical ritual that a religious specialist may perform, identifying the actions and material elements in the ritual that are essential to its completion. You can use examples we have discussed in class or make up your own ritual.
  4. Is this ritual for healing or harming? Explain through your imagination the motivation of the person who commissions this magic.

B. Sacred and Profane

  1. When Durkheim developed the notion “Sacred” and “Profane” it became a central concept in sociology. Provide an explanation of S and P from Durkheim that begins with his words in the except from Elementary Forms of Religions Life.
  2. What is the value of S and P for those who wish to study religion?
  3. What is the value of this conceptualization for thinkers who came after him, as they studied the ways that different societies created distinctions and categorization systems?

C. Underlying Logics in An Ethnographic Context

In her 1970s work with Gypsy people (also referred to as Traveler or Roma), Oakley studied demarcations in their world, many of which were conceptualized around notions of cleanliness.

  1. How do Traveler people construct boundaries that allow them to demarcate what is clean and dirty?
  2. What is the inner and the outer “self”?
  3. Explain their concept of mochadi. Provide an example of mochadi from their environment.
  4. How do they describe the differences between Gorgio and Gypsy?
  5. How does Mary Douglas’ idea about “dirt’ help you to understand this conceptual system?

II. Answer in approximately (6-10 sentences, can be more)

E. . Secondary Elaborations

1. Explain Evans Pritchard’s concept of Secondary Elaborations of Belief.

2. What does the use of a SEB allow a person to do?

3. Provide an example of a situation where a person holds a belief or idea that the person (or others) find to be contrary to reality or that does not “work” out as expected, and the SEB that is offered to explain the difference between the belief/expected and what actually did occur.

F. Conceptual Biases. Describe two biases that Western Intellectual traditions have had in their treatment of non-Western religions. How do you understand these biases in connection to socio-political events/processes of the 19th and 20th centuries?

G. Levi_Strauss. Describe Levi-Strauss’ ideas concerning human thought systems. What does the distinction “culture” vs “nature” refer to in his work? Provide an example in a particular cultural system.

H. The Human Body and Society.

1. In what ways can the human body be seen as a reflection of the rule and preference systems of the group/society?

2. How do rules/ideas of purity work to maintain the order created by a social system?

Nothing more to be noted

Requirements: 10-20 sentences per question, answer all, APA format | .doc file


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