By Robert L. Winzeler

Drawing from ethnographic examples stumbled on in the course of the global, this revised and up-to-date textual content deals an creation to what anthropologists understand or take into consideration faith, how they've got studied it, and the way they've got interpreted or defined it because the past due 19th century. Robert Winzeler’s balanced attention of vintage subject matters, uncomplicated innovations, and new advancements within the anthropological learn of faith strikes past cultural anthropology and ethnography to collect info from actual anthropology, prehistory, and archaeology. Written as a worldly yet available therapy of the problems, Anthropology and Religion is a key textual content for upper-division classes.

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Other accounts of non–world religions also tend toward the general conclusion that there is a connection between spiritual beliefs and practices and morality but the connection is likely to take a very different form than in Christianity or the other world religions (Swanson 1960, 153–74). Among indigenous peoples of Southeast Asia, there are links between proper and improper behavior and spiritual beliefs, although not of a familiar sort. ” The idea is that a bad act or improper behavior has harmful spiritual consequences for the community that are quite separate from the “natural” or social consequences of what has been done, such as killing someone or engaging in incest.

However, in contrast to the distribution of food, religious belief and ritual in Western society has little to do with the production of food. Food production has become a highly specialized activity carried out by a small number of farmers and ranchers. The contrast with what occurs in other places can be striking. In many other places in the world, growing crops or hunting animals is a religious activity. In Southeast Asia the cultivation of rice is sometimes referred to as a major cult. What is meant by this assertion is that the growing of rice is an important dimension of the religious practices of many groups, sometimes as much a ritual 30 Chapter 2 activity as a technological one.

Neither do the Dayak groups in the interior of Borneo, who build some of the largest wooden dwellings of all small-scale societies (Winzeler 2004). These take the form of massive longhouses up to several hundred meters in length containing up to fifty or so family apartments. 1). Nor are there any rooms or places in a longhouse that are dedicated to ritual activities for either the whole group or for individuals, or any places that are more or less sacred, except perhaps for certain hearths above which the skulls taken in head-hunting were hung or, conversely, the unclean areas where women give birth or the area beneath the longhouse where human garbage and waste is deposited and where pigs, chickens, and dogs forage.

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