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Sacred Realms Readings in the Anthropology of Religion



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Oxford University Press
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  • Sacred Realms Essays in Religion, Belief, and Society
    Sacred Realms Essays in Religion, Belief, and Society
  • Sacred Realms Essays in Religion, Belief, and Society
    Sacred Realms Essays in Religion, Belief, and Society


This comprehensive and engaging introduction to the anthropology ofreligion brings together a rich and balanced collection of classic andcontemporary readings. Ideal for courses in the anthropology of religion orcomparative religion, this exceptional anthology not only gives students thetools to analyze and comprehend religion but also enables them to considerreligion's major role in contemporary world affairs. Organized topically, Sacred Realms: Readings in the Anthropology ofReligion, Second Edition, covers twelve major areas in faith, religion, andbelief. Demonstrating the breadth and variety of human religious experience, theessays are written by authors from diverse ethnic and national backgrounds andinclude vivid ethnographic examples drawn from field studies around the world.The readings range from classic contributions by Bronislaw Malinowski, HoraceMiner, and Anthony F. C. Wallace to more recent selections including one on theRajneeshee by Charles Lindholm and articles on Sufism, witches, and Americanraves. The volume concludes with a unique section by the editors that describesthe basic facets of five of the world's most influential religions: Hinduism,Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The editors also provide helpful background material throughout; theirgeneral introduction encourages students to approach religion as an objectivehuman experience rather than from the perspective of their own upbringings,while overviews to each of the text's six parts place subjects in context andhighlight key issues. Essay introductions identify the author's perspective, thearticle's major points, and the questions the essay raises. New to the second edition of Sacred Realms is a section on theintersection of religion and politics, which includes a classic article byRaymond Firth as well as recent articles on issues in Korea and the Middle East.This edition also features a world map at the front of the book--referencinglocations in each essay, by number--and a glossary of terms at the end of thebook. An Instructor's Manual on CD is available to adopters.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Is Religion?
Introducing Religion
The Origins of Religion
How Religion Began: Human Evolution and the Origin of Religion (2002)
Explaining Religion Without Explaining It Away: Trust, Truth, and the Evolution of Cooperation in
"The Obvious Aspects of Ritual" (1999)
Rational Mastery by Man of His Surroundings (1925)
Religion and Society
Culture, Charisma, and Consciousness: The Case of the Rajneeshee (2002)
The Production of Possession: Spirits and the Multinational Corporation in Malaysia (1988)
Japanese Death Rituals in Transit: From Household Ancestors to Beloved Antecedents (1998)
Religion and the Environment
Balinese "Water Temples" and the Management of Irrigation (1987)
The Cultural Ecology of India's Sacred Cattle (1966)
Sacred Terrain: Religion, Politics, and Place in the History of Anloga (Ghana) (1997)
Ritual, Religion, and the Supernatural
Supernatural Beings and Powers
Tribal Religion in India: A Case Study of the Bhils (1986)
The Qawa Incident in 1968 and Other Cases of "Spirit Possession": Religious Syncretism in Fiji (1995)
The Devil and the Saints in the Conquest of Mexico (1994)
Tales of Mastery: Spirit Familiar in Sufis' Religious Imagination (2004)
Special Roles in Religion
Korean Shamans and the Spirits of Capitalism (1996)
Claiming Legitimacy: Prophecy Narratives from Northern Aboriginal Women (1994)
The Embodiment of Paradox: Yoruba Kingship and Female Power (1991)
Ritual and Ceremony
Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites de Passage (1964)
Play and Liminality in Rites of Passage: From Elder to Ancestor in West Africa (1991)
Female Circumcision in Southern Chad: Origins, Meaning, and Current Practice (1996)
Baseball Magic (2002)
Body Ritual Among the Nacirema (1956)
Journeys of the Soul
Altered StatesWade Davis, Hallucinogenic Plants and Their Use in Traditional Societies (1985)
The Old Woman and Her Gifts: Pharmacological Bases of the Chumash Use of Datura (1994)
Cognitive and Optical Illusions in San Rock Art Research (1986)
The Rave: Spiritual Healing in Modern Western Subcultures (2000)
"The Night I Got the Holy Ghost . . .": Holy Ghost Narratives and the Pentecostal Conversion Process (1988)
Death and Funerals
Whatever Happened to the American Way of Death? (1996)
"Thus Are Our Bodies, Thus Was Our Custom": Mortuary Cannibalism in an Amazonian Society (1995)
Killing Infants and the Aged in Nonindustrial Societies: Removing the Liminal (1988)
Origins and Realities of Suttee in Hinduism (2002)
Sickness and Health
Magic, Medicine, and Metaphysics in Nigeria (1991)
Effective Features of Therapy from the Healer's Perspective: A Study of Curanderismo (1986)
"Is it the Spirit or the Body"?: Syncretism of Health Beliefs Among Hmong Immigrants to Alaska (2007)
Culture-Bound Illnesses in a Samoan Migrant Community (1985)
Parallels between Recollections of Repressed Childhood Sex Abuse
Kidnappings by Space Aliens, and the 1692 Salem Witch Hunts (1994)
Spirits, Shamans, and Nightmare Death: Survivor Stress in a Hmong Refugee (1983)
Magical Literacy: Encountering a Witch's Book in Ecuador (1988)
Religion in Contemporary States
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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