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Focusing on more recent classical ethnographies, this important study provides a critical introduction to the social anthropology of religion. It covers all the major religious traditions that have been studied concretely by anthropologists--Shamanism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and its relation to African and Melanesian religions and contemporary Neopaganism. Treating religion as a social institution and not simply as an ideology or symbolic system, the book follows the dual heritage of social anthropology in combining an interpretative approach with sociological analysis.Read more
- Emphasizes religion as a social institution, rather than merely an ideological or symbolic system
- Clear, jargon-free language
- Studies a broad range of religions, including Shamanism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, African religions, and contemporary Neo-Paganism
Reviews & endorsements
"As a sequel and complement to Morris's previous reader on theoretical approaches to religion this book of impressive scholarship is an admirable success and a thoroughly enjoyable read. The book is characterized by a refreshing, commonsense approach to religion that is eminently accessible due to the consistent avoidance of unnecessary jargon, psycho-babble or lyrical prose... The sympathetic and nonjudgmental ethnographic descriptions, the dynamism of the theoretical polemic, the clear use of English, and the elegance of the narrative structure made this book difficult to put down. A rare experience when reading much modern anthropological writing." Jerome Lewis, London School of Economics and Political ScienceSee more reviews
Although the volume has obvious value as a general reference resource, it is designed for classroom use (specifically for courses that survey religious traditions). Highly recommended.
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- Date Published: November 2005
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521852418
- length: 362 pages
- dimensions: 231 x 155 x 28 mm
- weight: 0.7kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
2. Buddhism and spirit cults
3. Islam and popular religion
4. Hinduism and new religious movements
5. Christianity and religion in Africa
6. African American religion
7. Religions in Melanesia
8. Neopaganism and the New Age movement.
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