Anthropology of religion; made simple?
Posted in : Uncategorised on by : Brendan Walsh Comments:
The subject of anthropology seems to need a face lift. Far to many people think of it as beyond them or to ‘far out’ to understand.As a consequence people are beginning to believe that anthropology ,the subject, has become the domain of the tired old professors or gathering dust on university library shelves. Nothing could not be further from the truth.Anthropology is alive and well and living in all of us awaiting to be alighted and enjoyed. The job of anthropology is to study the human,us, and to study the subject in all
I will not lie anthropology can be, and is, a difficult subject and maybe more comfortably to the third level student.However for the beginners there is an amount of books available to all.One book is titled “The Complete Idiots Guide to Anthropology” The computer will give many other simple examples,so there is no excuse?
In this essay I will use theory’s from established writers.So you can trust the source of
my knowledge.The main source will be ” The Anthropology of Religion” by Fiona Bowie.(2006 published by Blackwell publishing)In order to give the reader a taste of the complications attached to the subject of anthropology when religion is introduced.Below is a quote from the above book.
“The unfortunately been born and soul as well,and this original sin,after having incessantly haunted the reflected mind through myth ,religion,theology ,and metaphysics,comes now to lay its curse on anthropology”.
I choose the “Anthropology of Religion” an Introduction because it is an interesting subject in it self. Also we all are effected in some way by religion (think about it) but also because of the rise of religion fanaticism in many religion all over the world. Without making any conclusion,if you can,that any are right or wrong anthropology (as does Philosophy) examines the reasons and argument for and against in a logical way.
The word logic and religion in the one sentence causes a problem and in fact starts one of the oldest argument in both anthropology and philosophy.In many religions(Christian and Islam for instance) the word soul is a belief and is separated from the body.The concept comes in many wordings over the years ,”body and soul” “body and mind” “faith and Reason” to state but a few. Someone a long long time ago decided (for what ever reason)that we are not only a product of nature and descended from the apes but we were in fact a divine creation and as so created by God.
This problem of “body and soul” began a long time ago ,before the word anthropology and subject was conceived of. Socrates the ancient Greek philosopher saw the mind as the most important part of the soul ,which he saw it as eternal.Socrates was considered as the wisest es man ever lived and his methodology for teaching is still used today.
I will quote two sayings attributed to Socrates which ,I hope ,will tie the subject (the mind and body separation argument) together and hope begin an discussion? One “the unexamined life is not worth living” and “get me out of my body”
It is obvious that Socrates is a lover of a clean uninterrupted mind as the journey towards to a greater existence.
What and how we live our lives ,our culture our traditions all contribute to how we perceive life and the work of the anthropologist is to make sense of this very existence.
It is allowed to use the writing on this post it is legal. provided you credited the writer