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MAGIC, WITCHCRAFT, & RELIGION. What are witchcraft, magic, and religion? This page is for those who seek truth about the book series Harry Potter. Many.

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Presentation on theme: "MAGIC, WITCHCRAFT, & RELIGION. What are witchcraft, magic, and religion? This page is for those who seek truth about the book series Harry Potter. Many."— Presentation transcript:

1 MAGIC, WITCHCRAFT, & RELIGION

2 What are witchcraft, magic, and religion? This page is for those who seek truth about the book series Harry Potter. Many think it is just harmless fantasy. True it is fantasy, but it is laced with witchcraft and demonology as are most books like it. Many say it gets children reading books who never would do so. I give you this tid-bit to ponder on. If your child did not like to take medicine and you had a chocolate drink with the medicine, plus arsenic in it, would you give it to them? You would if you did not know it was in there and what arsenic was. It is the same scenario with fantasy especially when it is laced with the poison of witchcraft. This page is for those who seek truth about the book series Harry Potter. Many think it is just harmless fantasy. True it is fantasy, but it is laced with witchcraft and demonology as are most books like it. Many say it gets children reading books who never would do so. I give you this tid-bit to ponder on. If your child did not like to take medicine and you had a chocolate drink with the medicine, plus arsenic in it, would you give it to them? You would if you did not know it was in there and what arsenic was. It is the same scenario with fantasy especially when it is laced with the poison of witchcraft.

3 Defining Our Terms & Asking Questions is a Place to Start! What is the difference between religion and spirituality? What is the difference between religion and spirituality? What is the difference between Fundamentalisms and more commonly practiced versions of organized religions? What is the difference between Fundamentalisms and more commonly practiced versions of organized religions? What is magic? Who practices it? What is magic? Who practices it? What is witchcraft? Who practices it? What is witchcraft? Who practices it? Is Harry Potter evil? Why or why not? Is Harry Potter evil? Why or why not?

4 ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION THEMES DifferenceOrder Power RationalityHierarchy Reproduction CommunityConflict Fertility ModernityAlienation Maturation SymbolismLove Death MeaningWell-being Tedium RelativismDignity Excitement MimesisAesthetics Motivation ProjectionCreativity Suffering MediationPlayfulness Redemption

5 CO-EXISTENCE OF SEEMINGLY OPPOSITE PROCESSES/ PHENOMENA: Subjection and Freedom Subjection and Freedom Worldliness and Asceticism Worldliness and Asceticism Morality and Desire Morality and Desire Imagination and Embodiment Imagination and Embodiment Inwardness and Outwardness Inwardness and Outwardness Origins and Ends Origins and Ends Order and Chaos Order and Chaos Structure and Practice Structure and Practice Cosmos and History Cosmos and History

6 4 ARGUMENTS IN ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION 1.Religious worlds are real, vivid, and significant to those who construct and live in them. 2.It is important to describe & analyze those realities for others, grasping their sensory richness, philosophic depth, emotional range, and moral complexity.

7 ARGUMENTS IN ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION 3. The power of “religious” worlds (their variety and competition). Such worlds affect how people act, ask questions, and think. 4.Religious practices are embedded in-- or complicit with--society, regimes of power, historical struggles, and modes of production.

8 19TH CENTURY THINKING ABOUT RELIGION Edward Tylor, Primitive Culture, 1871 American anthropologist American anthropologist “The Belief in Spiritual Beings” “The Belief in Spiritual Beings” Rationalism and creativity of all humans Rationalism and creativity of all humans Evolutionary anthropology Evolutionary anthropology

9 19TH CENTURY THINKING ABOUT RELIGION Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, 1912 French sociologist French sociologist Connection of the moral and religious Connection of the moral and religious Religion is a natural expression of society, reflecting on its own transcendent power Religion is a natural expression of society, reflecting on its own transcendent power Religion provides social cohesion, glue of mechanical solidarity Religion provides social cohesion, glue of mechanical solidarity All religions can be understood as true once it is seen that they represent society: “Social Facts” All religions can be understood as true once it is seen that they represent society: “Social Facts” Seeing things “religious” in practical or secular western society Seeing things “religious” in practical or secular western society Structural-functionalist, does not address historical change Structural-functionalist, does not address historical change

10 19TH CENTURY THINKING ABOUT RELIGION Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, 1904 German sociologist German sociologist Role of religion in formation of “Secular modernity” Role of religion in formation of “Secular modernity” Protestantism and capitalism Protestantism and capitalism

11 SHIFTS IN THE 20TH CENTURY While 19th c. thinkers saw members of small-scale societies mired in “superstition,” “ignorance,” “bliss” or “folly,” anthropologists realized that this reproduced an evolutionary model of western intellectual superiority, SO… While 19th c. thinkers saw members of small-scale societies mired in “superstition,” “ignorance,” “bliss” or “folly,” anthropologists realized that this reproduced an evolutionary model of western intellectual superiority, SO… Rather than compare nonwestern systems with western science, anthropologists sought to understand “religion” on a society’s terms (relativism). Rather than compare nonwestern systems with western science, anthropologists sought to understand “religion” on a society’s terms (relativism).

12 SHIFTS IN THE 20TH CENTURY Compare western religious practices with nonwestern ones Compare western religious practices with nonwestern ones MAJOR SHIFT—from explaining the irrational & exotic religious practices of Others to trying to understand the nature of religious practice anywhere. MAJOR SHIFT—from explaining the irrational & exotic religious practices of Others to trying to understand the nature of religious practice anywhere.

13 How is religion a part of everyday social life, social structures, and hierarchical relations of power? How is religion a part of everyday social life, social structures, and hierarchical relations of power? How is religion—rather than “faith” or “meaning”—practice and power? How is religion—rather than “faith” or “meaning”—practice and power?


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