Comparative religion is the branch of the study of religions concerned with the systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices of the worlds religions. In general the comparative study of religion yields a deeper understanding of the fundamental concerns of religion such as ethics, metaphysics. Studying such material is meant to give one a richer and more sophisticated understanding of human beliefs and practices regarding the sacred, spiritual, other religions that fit this description are sometimes included but are often omitted. The original belief in the One God of Abraham eventually became strictly monotheistic present-day Rabbinic Judaism, christians believe that Christianity is the fulfillment and continuation of the Jewish Old Testament. Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament prophecy and this signaled a break with Islam and started a new religious system, that represents the predecessor of the Baháí Faith. Christianity and Judaism are two other Abrahamic religions that diverge in theology and practice, the historical interaction of Islam and Judaism started in the 7th century CE with the origin and spread of Islam.
There are many common aspects between Islam and Judaism, and as Islam developed, it became the major religion closest to Judaism. There are many traditions within Islam originating from traditions within the Hebrew Bible or from post-biblical Jewish traditions and these practices are known collectively as the Israiliyat. The historical interaction between Christianity and Islam connects fundamental ideas in Christianity with similar ones in Islam, Islam accepts many aspects of Christianity as part of its faith - with some differences in interpretation - and rejects other aspects. Islam believes the Quran is the revelation from God and a completion of all previous revelations. Several important religions and religious movements originated in Greater Iran, that is and they include Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, Ætsæg Din, Ahl-e Haqq, Mandaeism and Mazdakism. Indian religions refers to a number of religions that have originated on the Indian subcontinent and they encompass Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
Buddhism and modern Hinduism are both post-Vedic religions, gautama Buddha is mentioned as an Avatar of Vishnu in the Puranic texts of Hinduism. Prominent Hindu reformers such as Gandhi and Vivekananda acknowledge Buddhist influence, like Hindus, did not believe Buddha established a non-Hindu tradition. He writes, I do not regard Jainism or Buddhism as separate from Hinduism, a Taoic religion is a religion, or religious philosophy, that focuses on the East Asian concept of Tao. This forms a group of religions including Taoism, Jeung San Do, Shinto, I-Kuan Tao, Chondogyo. In large parts of East Asia, Buddhism has taken on some taoic features, Tao can be roughly stated to be the flow of the universe, or the force behind the natural order. It is believed to be the influence that keeps the universe balanced and ordered and is associated with nature, the flow of Chi, as the essential energy of action and existence, is compared to the universal order of Tao
E. E. Evans-Pritchard
Sir Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard, known as E. E. Evans-Pritchard, was an English anthropologist who was instrumental in the development of social anthropology. He was Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford from 1946 to 1970. Evans-Pritchard was educated at Winchester College and studied history at Exeter College, where he was influenced by R. R. Marett, there he came under the influence of Bronisław Malinowski and especially Charles Gabriel Seligman, the founding ethnographer of the Sudan. His first fieldwork began in 1926 with the Azande, a people of the upper Nile, Evans-Pritchard continued to lecture at the LSE and conduct research in Azande and Bongo land until 1930, when he began a new research project among the Nuer. This work coincided with his appointment to the University of Cairo in 1932, after his return to Oxford, he continued his research on Nuer. It was during this period that he first met Meyer Fortes, Evans-Pritchard began developing Radcliffe-Browns program of structural-functionalism.
As a result, his trilogy of works on the Nuer, evans-Pritchards empirical work in this vein became well-known through philosophy of science and rationality debates of the 1960s and 1970s involving Thomas Kuhn and especially Paul Feyerabend. During the Second World War Evans-Pritchard served in Ethiopia, Sudan, in Sudan he raised irregular troops among the Anuak to harass the Italians and engaged in guerrilla warfare. In 1942 he was posted to the British Military Administration of Cyrenaica in North Africa, in documenting local resistance to Italian conquest, he became one of a few English-language authors to write about the tariqa. After a brief stint in Cambridge, Evans-Pritchard became professor of anthropology at the University of Oxford. He remained at All Souls College for the rest of his career, one of his students was Talal Asad, who now teaches at the City University of New York. Evans-Pritchards work was more theoretical, drawing upon his experiences as anthropologist to philosophize on the nature of anthropology, in 1950 he famously disavowed the commonly held view that anthropology was a natural science, arguing instead that it should be grouped amongst the humanities, especially history.
In 1965, he published the influential work Theories of Primitive Religion. Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard was born in Crowborough, East Sussex, England and he converted to Roman Catholicism in 1944. Known to his friends and family as EP, Evans-Pritchard had five children with his wife Ioma and his youngest son, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, is an investigative reporter for the London Daily Telegraph and author of The Secret Life of Bill Clinton. His younger daughter, Deirdre Evans-Pritchard, PhD, is an expert on folklore and she is a recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship. His eldest daughter, Shineen Evans-Pritchard, is a businesswoman and he had two other children, Nicky Evans-Pritchard, who works in computers, and John Evans-Pritchard, an economics teacher and author of several books. Evans-Pritchard died in Oxford on 11 September 1973, in 1972, a Festschrift was prepared for him, entitled Essays in Sudan ethnography, presented to Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard
A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community, Rituals are characterized but not defined by formalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, and performance. Rituals are a feature of all human societies. Even common actions like hand-shaking and saying hello may be termed rituals, the field of ritual studies has seen a number of conflicting definitions of the term. One given by Kyriakidis is that a ritual is an outsiders or etic category for a set activity that, to the outsider, seems irrational, non-contiguous, or illogical. The term can be used by the insider or emic performer as an acknowledgement that this activity can be seen as such by the uninitiated onlooker, the English word ritual derives from the Latin ritualis, that which pertains to rite. In Roman juridical and religious usage, ritus was the way of doing something, or correct performance.
The word ritual is first recorded in English in 1570, there are hardly any limits to the kind of actions that may be incorporated into a ritual. Catherine Bell argues that rituals can be characterized by formalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, Ritual utilizes a limited and rigidly organized set of expressions which anthropologists call a restricted code. Maurice Bloch argues that ritual obliges participants to use this formal oratorical style, which is limited in intonation, vocabulary, loudness, in adopting this style, ritual leaders speech becomes more style than content. Because this formal speech limits what can be said, it induces acceptance, Bloch argues that this form of ritual communication makes rebellion impossible and revolution the only feasible alternative. Ritual tends to support forms of social hierarchy and authority. Rituals appeal to tradition and are concerned to repeat historical precedents accurately. Traditionalism varies from formalism in that the ritual may not be yet still makes an appeal to historical.
An example is the American Thanksgiving dinner, which may not be formal, the appeal to history is important rather than accurate historical transmission. Catherine Bell states that ritual is invariant, implying careful choreography and this is less an appeal to traditionalism than a striving for timeless repetition. The key to invariance is bodily discipline, as in prayer and meditation meant to mold dispositions. This bodily discipline is frequently performed in unison, by groups, Rituals tend to be governed by rules, a feature somewhat like formalism
Charles Henry Kerry was an Australian photographer noted for his photographs that contributed to the development of the Australian national psyche and romance of the bush. Kerry was born on Bobundra Station in the Monaro region of New South Wales and he began working in the Sydney photo studio of A. H. Lamartiniere in 1875. When Lamartiniere fled from creditors a few later, Kerry took charge of the company, paying debts. Initially Kerry specialised in portraits but branched into photographing Sydney scenery and he was active in the postcard business. Eventually Kerry turned this small studio into Australias largest photographic establishment, in 1885 Kerry was asked to prepare an exhibit of Aboriginal portraits and corroboree pictures for the 1886 Colonial and Indian Exhibition. In 1890, the Governor of New South Wales, Lord Carrington, in 1891 Kerry was commissioned to photograph the Jenolan and Yarrangobilly Caves. An innovative artist, Kerry used the technique of magnesium flash powder to capture the interior of the Jenolan Caves.
By 1900 Kerry handled the major illustrations for the local press, in 1908 he photographed the visit of the American Fleet and the Burns–Johnson heavyweight boxing match. To gain a view of the arrival of the Great White Fleet he mounted a camera on a box kite. In 1895, Kerry began a Squatters Service, travelling around the colony photographing squatters land, families, Charles Kerry first visited Kiandra in 1894 to pursue his mining interests, he returned in 1896 on a photographic tour. The following year with practically no skiing experience was assisted by group including Kiandra ski club members on an historic tour to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko. In 1909 he was elected Founding President of the Kosciusko Alpine Club, which led to the opening up of the area for skiing, by 1898 he had the largest photographic establishment in Australia, a three floor building at 310 George Street, Sydney. He employed professional photographers and after 1895 took fewer photographs himself and he left the firm in 1911 to concentrate on his mining interests.
From 1913 he made a tour of the Pacific, visiting Tonga, New Caledonia, New Guinea. Later, in 1928 he accompanied a party to the islands of the Great Barrier Reef. He died soon after his return at his home in the Northern Sydney suburb of Neutral Bay, in 1937 Sir Frank Packer named his son after Kerry. Kerry Packer became Australias richest man, Kerrys son G. E. Marni Kerry was an early Australian aviator and friend of Charles Kingsford Smith. About 8,000 glass negatives from his studio were acquired in 1930 by Tyrells Bookshop, many of these were made freely available in the Commons on Flickr by the Powerhouse Museum in 2008
Communitas is a Latin noun commonly referring either to an unstructured community in which people are equal, or to the very spirit of community. It has significance as a loanword in cultural anthropology. Communitas refers to a state in which all members of a community are equal allowing them to share a common experience. Communitas is characteristic of people experiencing liminality together and this term is used to distinguish the modality of social relationship from an area of common living. There is more than one distinction between structure and communitas, the most familiar is the difference of secular and sacred. Every social position has something sacred about it and this sacred component is acquired during rites of passages, through the changing of positions. Part of this sacredness is achieved through the transient humility learned in these phases, Communitas is an acute point of community. It takes community to the level and allows the whole of the community to share a common experience.
This brings everyone onto a level, even if you are higher in position, you have been lower. Turner distinguishes between, existential or spontaneous communitas, the transient personal experience of togetherness, e. g. that which occurs during a counter-culture happening. Normative communitas, which occurs as communitas is transformed from its state to being organized into a permanent social system due to the need for social control. Ideological communitas, which can be applied to many utopian social models, Communitas as a concept used by Victor Turner in his study of ritual has been criticized by anthropologists. See John Eade & Michael J. Communitas is the title of a book published in 1947 by the 20th-century American thinker and writer Paul Goodman and his brother, Percival Goodman. Their book examines three kinds of societies, a society centered on consumption, a society centered on artistic and creative pursuits. In 1998, Italian philosopher Roberto Esposito published a book under the name Communitas challenging the traditional understanding of this concept and it was translated in English in 2010 by Timothy Campbell.
Rather, it is a void, a debt, a gift to the other that reminds us of our constitutive alterity with respect to ourselves. Here we find the final and most characteristic of the associated with the alternative between public and private, those in other words that contrast communitas to immunitas. He can completely preserve his own position through a vacatio muneris, whereas the communitas is bound by the sacrifice of the compensatio, the immunitas implies the beneficiary of the dispensatio
Wu are spirit mediums who have practiced divination, sacrifice and healing in Chinese traditions dating back over 3,000 years. The Chinese word wu 巫 spirit medium, shamaness, doctor, proper names was first recorded during the Shang Dynasty, during the late Zhou Dynasty wu was used to specify female shaman, sorceress as opposed to xi 覡 male shaman, sorcerer. Other sex-differentiated shaman names include nanwu 男巫 for male shaman, wizard, and nüwu 女巫, wunü 巫女, wupo 巫婆, and wuyu 巫嫗 for female shaman, witch. Wu is used in compounds like wugu 巫蠱 sorcery, cast harmful spells, wushen 巫神 or shenwu 神巫 wizard, the word tongji 童乩 shaman, spirit-medium is a near-synonym of wu. Chinese uses phonetic transliteration to distinguish native wu from Siberian shaman, saman 薩滿 or saman 薩蠻, Shaman is occasionally written with Chinese Buddhist transcriptions of Shramana wandering monk, shamen 沙門, sangmen 桑門, or sangmen 喪門. Joseph Needham suggests shaman was transliterated xianmen 羨門 in the name of Zou Yans disciple Xianmen Gao 羨門高.
Needham compares two Chinese terms for shaman, shanman 珊蛮, which described the Jurchen leader Wanyan Xiyin, and sizhu 司祝, which was used for imperial Manchu shamans during the Qing Dynasty. Shaman is the common English translation of Chinese wu, but some maintain that the Siberian shaman. Taking wu to mean female shaman, Edward H. Schafer translates it as shamaness, the transliteration-translation wu shaman or wu-shaman implies Chinese specifically and shamanism generally. Wu, concludes Falkenhausen, may be rendered as shaman or, the Modern Standard Chinese pronunciation of 巫 is wu, which phonologically descends from Middle Chinese and Old Chinese. Compare these Middle and Old Chinese reconstructions of wu 巫, myu < *mywo, mjuo < *mjwaɣ, *mjag, mju < *ma, linguists disagree whether wu had an Old Chinese velar final -g or -ɣ. This 巫 is pronounced mouh in Cantonese, vu in Vietnamese, mu in Korean, the contemporary Chinese character 巫 for wu combines the graphic radicals gong 工 work and ren 人 person doubled.
This 巫 character developed from Seal script characters that depicted dancing shamans, the first Chinese dictionary of characters, the Shuowen Jiezi defines wu as zhu 祝 sacrifice, prayer master, invoker and analyzes the Seal graph, An Invoker. A woman who can serve the Invisible, and by posturing bring down the spirits, depicts a person with two sleeves posturing. This Seal graph for wu is interpreted as showing the 工 work of two dancing figures set to each other – a shamanistic dance or two figures facing some central object. This dictionary includes a variant Great Seal script that elaborates wu 巫, Schafer compares the Shang Dynasty oracle graphs for wu and nong 弄 play with, cause that shows hands elevating a piece of jade inside an enclosure, possibly a tent. The Seal and modern form 巫 may well derive from this original, tu Baikui 塗白奎 believes the wu oracle character was composed of two pieces of jade and originally designated a tool of divination. The latter three proper name meanings of apply to mountains and people, Wushan 巫山 Wu Mountain is located near Chongqing in Sichuan Province
A totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, lineage, or tribe. However, the people of those cultures have words for their guardian spirits in their own languages. Totem poles of the Pacific Northwest of North America are monumental poles of heraldry and they feature many different designs that function as crests of families or chiefs. They recount stories owned by families or chiefs, or commemorate special occasions. Totemism is a associated with animistic religions. The totem is usually an animal or other natural figure that represents a group of related people such as a clan. Scottish ethnologist John Ferguson McLennan, following the vogue of 19th-century research, addressed totemism in a perspective in his study The Worship of Animals. McLennan did not seek to explain the origin of the totemistic phenomenon. If the origin of the name was forgotten, Lang argued, through nature myths animals and natural objects were considered as the relatives, patrons, or ancestors of the respective social units.
In 1910, Russian American ethnologist Alexander Goldenweiser, subjected totemistic phenomena to sharp criticism, the leading representative of British social anthropology, A. R. As a chief representative of modern structuralism, French ethnologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, and to a lesser extent fiction writers, often use anthropological concepts, including the anthropological understanding of totemism. For this reason literary criticism often resorts to psychoanalytic, anthropological analyses
James George Frazer
Sir James George Frazer OM FRS FRSE FBA was a Scottish social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion. He is often considered one of the fathers of modern anthropology. His most famous work, The Golden Bough and details the similarities among magical, Frazer posited that human belief progressed through three stages, primitive magic, replaced by religion, in turn replaced by science. He was born in Glasgow, the son of Daniel F. Frazer, a chemist, Frazer attended school at Springfield Academy and Larchfield Academy in Helensburgh. He studied at the University of Glasgow and Trinity College, from Trinity, he went on to study law at the Middle Temple, but never practised. Four times elected to Trinitys Title Alpha Fellowship, he was associated with the college for most of his life, except for a year, 1907–1908, spent at the University of Liverpool. He was knighted in 1914, and a lectureship in social anthropology at the universities of Cambridge, Glasgow.
He was, if not blind, severely visually impaired from 1930 on and he and his wife, died in Cambridge within a few hours of each other. They are buried at the Ascension Parish Burial Ground in Cambridge and his sister Isabella Katherine Frazer married the mathematician John Steggall FRSE. The study of myth and religion became his areas of expertise, except for visits to Italy and Greece, Frazer was not widely travelled. His prime sources of data were ancient histories and questionnaires mailed to missionaries, Frazers interest in social anthropology was aroused by reading E. B. Tylors Primitive Culture and encouraged by his friend, the biblical scholar William Robertson Smith, Frazer was the first scholar to describe in detail the relations between myths and rituals. His theories of totemism were superseded by the work of the French anthropologist, Claude Lévi-Strauss and his vision of the annual sacrifice of the Year-King has not been borne out by field studies. Yet The Golden Bough, his study of ancient cults, the first edition, in two volumes, was published in 1890.
The third edition was finished in 1915 and ran to twelve volumes and he published a single-volume abridged version, largely compiled by his wife Lady Frazer, in 1922, with some controversial material on Christianity excluded from the text. The works influence extended well beyond the bounds of academia. Sigmund Freud cited Totemism and Exogamy frequently in his own Totem and Taboo, Resemblances Between the Psychic Lives of Savages, the symbolic cycle of life and rebirth which Frazer divined behind myths of many peoples captivated a generation of artists and poets. Perhaps the most notable product of this fascination is T. S. Eliots poem The Waste Land
Joseph John Campbell was an American mythologist and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work covers many aspects of the human experience, Campbells magnum opus is his book titled The Hero with a Thousand Faces in which he discusses his theory of the journey of the archetypal hero found in world mythologies. Since publication of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbells theory has been applied by a wide variety of modern writers. His philosophy has been summarized by his own often repeated phrase, Joseph Campbell was born in White Plains, New York, the son of Josephine and Charles William Campbell. He was from an upper-middle-class Irish Catholic family, during his childhood, he moved with his family to nearby New Rochelle, New York. In 1919 a fire destroyed the home in New Rochelle. In 1921 Campbell graduated from the Canterbury School in New Milford, while at Dartmouth College he studied biology and mathematics, but decided that he preferred the humanities.
He transferred to Columbia University, where he received a BA in English literature in 1925, at Dartmouth he had joined Delta Tau Delta. An accomplished athlete, he received awards in track and field events, in 1924 Campbell traveled to Europe with his family. In 1927 Campbell received a fellowship from Columbia University to study in Europe, Campbell studied Old French, Provençal and Sanskrit at the University of Paris in France and the University of Munich in Germany. He learned to read and speak French and German, on his return to Columbia University in 1929, Campbell expressed a desire to pursue the study of Sanskrit and Modern Art in addition to Medieval literature. Lacking faculty approval, Campbell withdrew from graduate studies, in life he said while laughing but not in jest that it is a sign of incompetence to have a PhD in the liberal arts, the discipline covering his work. With the arrival of the Great Depression a few later, Campbell spent the next five years living in a rented shack on some land in Woodstock.
There, he contemplated the next course of his life engaged in intensive. He said that he would divide the day into four four-hour periods, I would get nine hours of sheer reading done a day. And this went on for five years straight, Campbell traveled to California for a year, continuing his independent studies and becoming close friends with the budding writer John Steinbeck and his wife Carol. On the Monterey Peninsula, like John Steinbeck, fell under the spell of marine biologist Ed Ricketts, Campbell began writing a novel centered on Ricketts as a hero but, unlike Steinbeck, did not complete his book. Bruce Robison writes that Campbell would refer to days as a time when everything in his life was taking shape
The word shaman probably originates from the Tungusic Evenki language of North Asia. The term was introduced to the west after Russian forces conquered the shamanistic Khanate of Kazan in 1552, Mircea Eliade writes, A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be, shamanism = technique of religious ecstasy. Shamanism encompasses the premise that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the world and the spirit worlds. Shamans are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul, alleviating traumas affecting the soul/spirit restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness. The shaman enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community, Shamans may visit other worlds/dimensions to bring guidance to misguided souls and to ameliorate illnesses of the human soul caused by foreign elements. The shaman operates primarily within the world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the ailment, hundreds of books and academic papers on the subject have been produced, with a peer-reviewed academic journal being devoted to the study of shamanism.
The word shaman probably originates from the Evenki word šamán, most likely from the dialect spoken by the Sym Evenki peoples. The Tungusic term was adopted by Russians interacting with the indigenous peoples in Siberia. It is found in the memoirs of the exiled Russian churchman Avvakum, adam Brand, a merchant from Lübeck, published in 1698 his account of a Russian embassy to China, a translation of his book, published the same year, introduced the word shaman to English speakers. The etymology of the Evenki word is sometimes connected to a Tungus root ša- to know, other scholars assert that the word comes directly from the Manchu language, and as such would be the only commonly used English word that is a loan from this language. This proposal has been thoroughly critiqued since 1917, ethnolinguist Juha Janhunen regards it as an anachronism and an impossibility that is nothing more than a far-fetched etymology. Ethnolinguists did not develop as a discipline nor achieve contact with these communities until the late 19th century, there is no single agreed-upon definition for the word shamanism among anthropologists.
The English historian Ronald Hutton noted that by the dawn of the 21st century, the first of these uses the term to refer to anybody who contacts a spirit world while in an altered state of consciousness. The second definition limits the term to refer to those who contact a spirit world while in a state of consciousness at the behest of others. Problematically, scholars advocating the third view have failed to agree on what the defining technique should be, the fourth definition identified by Hutton uses shamanism to refer to the indigenous religions of Siberia and neighboring parts of Asia. According to the Golomt Center for Shamanic Studies, a Mongolian organisation of shamans, Shamans are normally called by dreams or signs which require lengthy training. However, shamanic powers may be inherited and colleagues mention a phenomenon called shamanistic initiatory crisis, a rite of passage for shamans-to-be, commonly involving physical illness and/or psychological crisis