A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures and objects, performed in a sequestered place, performed according to set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions including a religious community. Rituals are characterized but not defined by formalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, performance. Rituals are a feature of all known human societies, they include not only the worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but rites of passage and purification rites, oaths of allegiance, dedication ceremonies, coming of age ceremony or rites and presidential inaugurations and funerals, school "rush" traditions and graduations, club meetings, sporting events, Halloween parties, veterans parades, Christmas shopping and more. Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes, such as jury trials, execution of criminals, scientific symposia, are loaded with purely symbolic actions prescribed by regulations or tradition, thus ritualistic in nature.
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 outsider's 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. In psychology, the term ritual is sometimes used in a technical sense for a repetitive behavior systematically used by a person to neutralize or prevent anxiety; the English word ritual derives from the Latin ritualis, "that which pertains to rite". In Roman juridical and religious usage, ritus was the proven way of doing something, or "correct performance, custom"; the original concept of ritus may be related to the Sanskrit ṛtá" in Vedic religion, "the lawful and regular order of the normal, therefore proper and true structure of cosmic, worldly and ritual events".
The word "ritual" is first recorded in English in 1570, came into use in the 1600s to mean "the prescribed order of performing religious services" or more a book of these prescriptions. There are hardly any limits to the kind of actions; the rites of past and present societies have involved special gestures and words, recitation of fixed texts, performance of special music, songs or dances, manipulation of certain objects, use of special dresses, consumption of special food, drink, or drugs, much more. Catherine Bell argues that rituals can be characterized by formalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism and performance. 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, limited in intonation, vocabulary and fixity of order. In adopting this style, ritual leaders' speech becomes more style than content; because this formal speech limits what can be said, it induces "acceptance, compliance, or at least forbearance with regard to any overt challenge".
Bloch argues that this form of ritual communication makes rebellion impossible and revolution the only feasible alternative. Ritual tends to support traditional forms of social hierarchy and authority, maintains the assumptions on which the authority is based from challenge. Rituals appeal to tradition and are continued to repeat historical precedent, religious rite, mores or ceremony accurately. Traditionalism varies from formalism in that the ritual may not be formal yet still makes an appeal to the historical trend. An example is the American Thanksgiving dinner, which may not be formal, yet is ostensibly based on an event from the early Puritan settlement of America. Historians Eric Hobsbawm and Terrence Ranger have argued that many of these are invented traditions, such as the rituals of the British monarchy, which invoke "thousand year-old tradition" but whose actual form originate in the late nineteenth century, to some extent reviving earlier forms, in this case medieval, discontinued in the meantime.
Thus, the appeal to history is important rather than accurate historical transmission. Catherine Bell states that ritual is invariant, implying careful choreography; this is less an appeal to traditionalism than a striving for timeless repetition. The key to invariance is bodily discipline, as in monastic prayer and meditation meant to mold dispositions and moods; this bodily discipline is performed in unison, by groups. Rituals tend to be governed by a feature somewhat like formalism. Rules impose norms on the chaos of behavior, either defining the outer limits of what is acceptable or choreographing each move. Individuals are held to communally approved customs that evoke a legitimate communal authority that can constrain the possible outcomes. War in most societies has been bound by ritualized constraints that limit the legitimate means by which war was waged. Activities appealing to supernatural beings are considered rituals, although the appeal may be quite indirect, expressing only a generalized belief in the existence of the sacred demanding a human response.
National flags, for example, may be considered more than signs representing a country. The flag stands for larger symbols such as freedom, free enterprise or national superiority. Anthropologi
Antoine Augustin Calmet
Antoine Augustin Calmet, O. S. B. A French Benedictine monk, was born at Ménil-la-Horgne in the Duchy of Bar, part of the Holy Roman Empire. Calmet was a pious monk as well as a learned man, one of the most distinguished members of the Congregation of St. Vanne. In recognition of these qualities he was elected prior of Lay-Saint-Christophe in 1715, Abbot of St-Léopold at Nancy in 1718, of Senones Abbey in 1729, he was twice entrusted with the office of Abbot General of the congregation. Pope Benedict XIII wished to confer episcopal dignity upon him, but his humility could not be brought to accept the honor. Calmet was admired by the philosopher Voltaire, who visited the abbey on several occasions. Calmet died at Senones Abbey, in the Vosges, near Saint-Dié, on 25 October 1757. Augustin Calmet was born on 26 February 1672, in Ménil-la-Horgne, near Commercy in the Lorraine, to the modest family of Antoine Calmet, his father was a blacksmith. After entering the Benedictine priory at Breuil at the age of 15, he attended the University of Pont-à-Mousson and studied rhetoric under the Jesuit father Ignace de L’Aubrussel.
At the end of these studies, he joined the Benedictine order of the Congregation of Saint-Vanne and St. Hydulphe, his novitiate was made to the St. Mansuy Abbey Toul where he took monastic vows on 23 October 1689, he was sent to study philosophy at St. Èvre Abbey and theology at Munster Abbey. He was ordained into the Priesthood on 1 March 1696 in Arlesheim near Basel, said his first Mass in the Abbey of Munster on 24 April 1696, he was commissioned to explain the holy scriptures in the Abbey of Moyenmoutier and Munster Abbey, was appointed prior to Lay-Saint-Christophe He became abbot of St. Leopold Nancy, he went through the various monasteries of his order, devouring libraries and writing many historical compilations. In 1728, Calmet was called as priest of Senones Saint-Pierre Abbey, the capital of Principality of Salm, it is in the great abbey Vosges that he worked and lived the last part of his life, maintaining a correspondence with many scientists, remaining there until his death on 25 October 1757.
There are squares which bear his name in Senones. There is a Dom-Calmet Street in downtown Nancy since 18673 and a street of Metz in the Sablon district bears his name since 1934, his monument includes a list of his works. The work of Dom Augustin Calmet are prolific, his main works are: Calmet was educated at the Benedictine priory of Breuil in the town of Commercy, in 1688 joined the same Order at the Abbey of Saint-Mansuy at Toul, where he was admitted to profession on 23 October of the following year. After his ordination, 17 March 1696, he was appointed to teach philosophy and theology at the Abbey of Moyenmoutier. Here, with the help of his brethren, he began to gather the material for his commentary of the Bible, which he completed at Munster in Alsace where he was sent in 1704 as sub-prior and professor of Biblical exegesis; the first volume appeared in Paris in 1707 with the title Commentaire littéral sur tous les livres de l'Ancien et du Nouveau Testaments. To satisfy the demand for the work a second edition in twenty-six volumes quarto was issued 1714–1720, a third, edition in nine volumes folio 1724–1726.
A Latin translation by J. D. Mansi was published at Lucca, 1730–1738, in nine folio volumes, with new editions at Augsburg and Würzburg; this shows. But while it was received with high praise by Protestants, critics were not wanting, among whom may be mentioned the Oratorian Richard Simon, it cannot be denied that in spite of its merits and great erudition it is in some respects open to criticism. Difficult passages are passed over and too different explanations of a text are set down without a hint to the reader as to, the right or preferable one; the work inaugurated a new method of exegesis. Its author departed from the custom of giving allegorical and tropological interpretations besides the literal; the most valuable part of the commentary were the introductory prefaces to the several books and 114 learned dissertations on special topics. These he published separately with nineteen new ones in three volumes, under the title Dissertations qui peuvent servir de prolégomènes à l'Écriture Sainte.
The collection met with such success that two editions were printed at Amsterdam in 1722, the title being changed to Trésors d'antiquités sacrées et profanes. It was translated into English, Dutch and Italian. In 1746 he wrote the first edition of his Dissertations sur les apparitions des anges, des démons et des esprits, et sur les revenants et vampires de Hongrie, de Bohême, de Moravie et de Silésie, it extensively studied apparitions of angels and other spirits but included dissertations on various topics of Magic, sorcery and instances of vampires and individuals returning from the grave. This study analyzed accounts of these various topics located in the bible, cultural legends and famous accounts of documented cases or claims. Although quite critical, Voltaire consu
Communitas is a Latin noun referring either to an unstructured community in which people are equal, or to the spirit of community. It has special significance as a loanword in cultural anthropology and the social sciences. Victor Turner, who defined the anthropological usage of communitas, was interested in the interplay between what he called social'structure' and'antistructure'. Communitas refers to an unstructured state in which all members of a community are equal allowing them to share a common experience through a rite of passage. Communitas is characteristic of people experiencing liminality together; 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; this sacred component is acquired through the changing of positions. Part of this sacredness is achieved through the transient humility learned in these phases, this allows people to reach a higher position.
Communitas is an acute point of community. It takes community to the next level and allows the whole of the community to share a common experience through a rite of passage; this brings everyone onto an equal level: if you are higher in position, you have been lower and you know what that is. Turner distinguishes between: existential or spontaneous communitas, the transient personal experience of togetherness. Normative communitas, which occurs as communitas is transformed from its existential 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. Sallnow's Contesting the Sacred Edith Turner, Victor's widow and anthropologist in her own right, published in 2011 a definitive overview of the anthropology of communitas, outlining the concept in relation to the natural history of joy, including the nature of human experience and its narration, festivals and sports, disaster, the sacred and nonviolence, nature and spirit, ritual and rites of passage.
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 possible societies: a society centered on consumption, a society centered on artistic and creative pursuits, a society which maximizes human liberty; the Goodmans emphasize freedom from both coercion by a government or church and from human necessities by providing these free of cost to all citizens who do a couple of years of conscripted labor as young adults. In 1998, Italian philosopher Roberto Esposito published a book under the name Communitas challenging the traditional understanding of this concept, it was translated in English in 2010 by Timothy Campbell. In this book, Esposito offers a different interpretation of the concept of communitas based on a thorough etymological analysis of the word: "Community isn't a property, nor is it a territory to be separated and defended against those who do not belong to it.
Rather, it is a void, a debt, a gift to the other that reminds us of our constitutive alterity with respect to ourselves." He goes on with his "deconstruction" of the concept of communitas: "From here it emerges that communitas is the totality of persons united not by a "property" but by an obligation or a debt. Here we find the final and most characteristic of the oppositions associated with the alternative between public and private, those in other words that contrast communitas to immunitas. If communis is he, required to carry out the functions of an office ― or to the donation of a grace ― on the contrary, he is called immune who has to perform no office, for that reason he remains ungrateful, he can 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.""Therefore the community cannot be thought of as a body, as a corporation in which individuals are founded in a larger individual.
Neither is community to be interpreted as a mutual, intersubjective "recognition" in which individuals are reflected in each other so as to confirm their initial identity. The community isn't a mode of being, much less a "making" of the individual subject, it isn't the subject's expansion or multiplication but its exposure to what interrupts the closing and turns it inside out: a dizziness, a syncope, a spasm in the continuity of the subject." For more on this perspective, see Jean-Luc Nancy's paper "The Confronted Community" as well as his book The Inoperative Community. See Maurice Blanchot's book The Unavowable Community, an answer to Jean-Luc Nancy's Inoperative Community. Giorgio Agamben engages in a similar argument about the concept of community in his 1990 book The Coming Community. Rémi Astruc, a French scholar proposed in his essay Nous? L'aspiration à la Communauté et les arts, to operate a distinctio
Monotheism is defined as the belief in the existence of only one god that created the world, is all-powerful and intervenes in the world. A broader definition of monotheism is the belief in one god. A distinction may be made between exclusive monotheism, both inclusive monotheism and pluriform monotheism which, while recognising various distinct gods, postulate some underlying unity. Monotheism is distinguished from henotheism, a religious system in which the believer worships one god without denying that others may worship different gods with equal validity, monolatrism, the recognition of the existence of many gods but with the consistent worship of only one deity; the term "monolatry" was first used by Julius Wellhausen. The broader definition of monotheism characterizes the traditions of Bábism, the Bahá'í Faith, Balinese Hinduism, Cao Dai, Christianity, Eckankar, Hindu sects such as Shaivism and Vaishnavism, Judaism, Rastafari, Seicho no Ie, Tengrism, Tenrikyo and Zoroastrianism, elements of pre-monotheistic thought are found in early religions such as Atenism, ancient Chinese religion, Yahwism.
The word monotheism comes from the Greek μόνος meaning "single" and θεός meaning "god". The English term was first used by Henry More. Quasi-monotheistic claims of the existence of a universal deity date to the Late Bronze Age, with Akhenaten's Great Hymn to the Aten. A possible inclination towards monotheism emerged during the Vedic period in Iron-Age South Asia; the Rigveda exhibits notions of monism of the Brahman in the comparatively late tenth book, dated to the early Iron Age, e.g. in the Nasadiya sukta. Since the sixth century BCE, Zoroastrians have believed in the supremacy of one God above all: Ahura Mazda as the "Maker of All" and the first being before all others. Nonetheless, Zoroastrianism was not monotheistic because it venerated other yazatas alongside Ahura Mazda. Ancient Hindu theology, was monist, but was not monotheistic in worship because it still maintained the existence of many gods, who were envisioned as aspects of one supreme God, Brahman. Numerous ancient Greek philosophers, including Xenophanes of Colophon and Antisthenes believed in a similar polytheistic monism that came close to monotheism, but fell short.
Judaism was the first religion to conceive the notion of a personal monotheistic God within a monist context. The concept of ethical monotheism, which holds that morality stems from God alone and that its laws are unchanging, first occurred in Judaism, but is now a core tenet of most modern monotheistic religions, including Zoroastrianism, Islam and Bahá'í Faith. According to Jewish and Islamic tradition, monotheism was the original religion of humanity. Scholars of religion abandoned that view in the 19th century in favour of an evolutionary progression from animism via polytheism to monotheism, but by 1974 this theory was less held, a modified view similar to Lang's became more prominent. Austrian anthropologist Wilhelm Schmidt had postulated an Urmonotheismus, "original" or "primitive monotheism" in the 1910s, it was objected that Judaism and Islam had grown up in opposition to polytheism as had Greek philosophical monotheism. More Karen Armstrong and other authors have returned to the idea of an evolutionary progression beginning with animism, which developed into polytheism, which developed into henotheism, which developed into monolatry, which developed into true monotheism.
While all adherents of the Abrahamic religions consider themselves to be monotheists, some in Judaism do not consider Christianity to be a pure form of monotheism, classifying it as Shituf. Islam does not recognize modern-day Christianity as monotheistic due to the Christian doctrine of Trinity, which Islam argues was not a part of the original monotheistic Christianity as preached by Jesus. Christians, on the other hand, argue that the doctrine of the Trinity is a valid expression of monotheism, citing that the Trinity does not consist of three separate deities, but rather the three persons, who exist consubstantially within a single Godhead. Judaism is one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world, although some scholars have argued that the earliest Israelites were monolatristic rather than monotheistic. God in Judaism was monotheistic, an absolute one and incomparable being, the ultimate cause of all existence; the Babylonian Talmud references other, "foreign gods" as non-existent entities to whom humans mistakenly ascribe reality and power.
One of the best-known statements of Rabbinical Judaism on monotheism is the Second of Maimonides' 13 Principles of faith: God, the Cause of all, is one. This does not mean one as in one of a pair, nor one like a species, nor one as in an object, made up of many elements, nor as a single simple object, infinitely divisible. Rather, God is a unity unlike any other possible unity; some in Judaism and Islam reject the Christian idea of monotheism. Judaism uses the term shituf to refer to the worship of God in a manner which Judaism deems to be neither purely monotheistic nor polytheistic. During the 8th century BCE, the worship of YHWH in Israel was in competition with many other cults, described by the Yahwist faction collectively as Baals; the oldest books of th
The Great Spirit, known as Wakan Tanka among the Sioux, Gitche Manitou in Algonquian, in many Native American and First Nations cultures as the divine or the sacred, is the supreme being, God, or a conception of universal spiritual force. The Great Spirit has at times been conceptualized as an "anthropomorphic celestial deity," a God of creation and eternity, who takes a personal interest in world affairs and might intervene in the lives of human beings. There have been, may be, many different speakers for the Great Spirit, each of whom must be dedicated to the preservation of the Native American way of life; the Great Spirit, by way of the spiritual leaders, is looked to for spiritual and cultural guidance on both an individual and community level. Cultural variations among the different Native American Tribes who hold a belief in The Great Spirit have resulted in different stories about this being or these beings, as well as different types of messages being delivered by those seen as prophets or spiritual leaders in these cultures.
According to Lakota activist Russell Means, a better translation of Wakan Tanka is the Great Mystery. Two of the most well known prophets' prophecies took place in the early 1800s; the Shawnee Prophet occurred in 1824. Tenskwatawa, a religious and political leader of the Shawnee tribe, warned the Governor of Michigan, Lewis Cass, that the children of the Shawnees tribe would carry the "sacred flame"; this flame would end the world as it was between the Native Whites. Once the destruction was complete, the Great Spirit would restructure and repopulate the world in the way it was believed that it should be. Another well-known story happened in 1827 and involves William Clark and Kennekuk, a spiritual leader of the Kickapoo nation; this is known as the Kickapoo Prophet. Kennekuk informed Clark that he must be careful while exploring the land, now Illinois; this warning was. He proclaimed. Other popular prophets include The Red Sticks Prophet; the Great Spirit is portrayed in most North American Indigenous cultures as a powerful force that guides the people in wisdom and survival.
In the various Nations, The Great Spirit might be called Earthgrasper, Gisha Munetoa, Gitchi Manido, or "The Creator". An Algonquin legend speaks of a Delaware Indian called Eroneniera that travels to meet The Great Spirit. Upon meeting, The Great Spirit tells Eroneniera that he is the "Maker of Heaven and Earth…because I love you…the land on which you are, I have made for you"; the Great Spirit teaches him a prayer to share with his people that they should repeat it every morning and night. The stories of the Native American helped explain abstract ideas; the stories explained weather and land formations. Chief Mononcue, of the Ohio Wendat a nation of Christianized tribes, spoke to a group of white Methodists in the 1820s, he pointed out that the white men had been taught to do good. "The Great Spirit has taught you and us both one thing- that we should love one another and fear him. He has taught us by his Spirit and you white men by the Good Book, all one." Mononcue tells the gathered crowd that the white men say that they love the tribes but they give them whiskey and this causes evil and that the white man cheats the Indian and treats him as if he is less than the white man.
"Now, your Good Book forbids all this. Why not do what it tells you? Indians would do right too…. Now, let us all do right. According to a Chippewa legend a forest fire on the Wisconsin shoreline forced a mother bear and her two cubs into Lake Michigan; the cubs became tired and fell behind their mother and drowned within sight of the shoreline. The mother made it to the shore and climbed to the top of a dune to look for her cubs, but they were gone; the mother waited there for days in hopes. The Great Spirit was moved by the mother’s devotion and commitment to find her cubs and covered the mother in a blanket of sand so she would have a final resting place and be able to reunite with her cubs, it is said. The Great Spirit created two islands to mark the spot where the cubs had drowned; the two islands are known today as the South Manitou Islands. The Sleeping Bear Dunes are located on the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in Leelanau county; the Great Spirit created man and woman and they "lived in happiness for a time, but as husbands and wives have done since, they soon began to quarrel".
The story explains that the wife leaves the husband and sets off walking toward "the setting sun". The Great Spirit sees that the man creates berries along her path; the Great Spirit creates strawberries and the woman stops to gather some and the man is able to catch up to her, she shares them with him and they return home together. The berries are named Odamin, meaning heart berry. Hail to the Sunrise Statue Manitou Monotheism Native American religion
Claude Lévi-Strauss was a French anthropologist and ethnologist whose work was key in the development of the theory of structuralism and structural anthropology. He held the chair of Social Anthropology at the Collège de France between 1959 and 1982 and was elected a member of the Académie française in 1973, he received numerous honors from universities and institutions throughout the world and has been called, alongside James George Frazer and Franz Boas, the "father of modern anthropology". Lévi-Strauss argued that the "savage" mind had the same structures as the "civilized" mind and that human characteristics are the same everywhere; these observations culminated in his famous book Tristes Tropiques that established his position as one of the central figures in the structuralist school of thought. As well as sociology, his ideas reached into many fields including philosophy. Structuralism has been defined as "the search for the underlying patterns of thought in all forms of human activity."
Claude Lévi-Strauss was born to French Jewish parents who were living in Brussels at the time, where his father was working as a portrait painter. He grew up in Paris, living on a street of the upscale 16th arrondissement named after the artist Claude Lorrain, whose work he admired and wrote about. During the First World War, he lived with his maternal grandfather, the rabbi of the synagogue of Versailles, he attended the Lycée Condorcet. At the Sorbonne in Paris, Lévi-Strauss studied philosophy, he did not pursue his study of law, but passed the agrégation in philosophy in 1931. In 1935, after a few years of secondary-school teaching, he took up a last-minute offer to be part of a French cultural mission to Brazil in which he would serve as a visiting professor of sociology at the University of São Paulo while his wife, served as a visiting professor of ethnology; the couple lived and did their anthropological work in Brazil from 1935 to 1939. During this time, while he was a visiting professor of sociology, Claude undertook his only ethnographic fieldwork.
He accompanied Dina, a trained ethnographer in her own right, a visiting professor at the University of São Paulo, where they conducted research forays into the Mato Grosso and the Amazon Rainforest. They first studied the Bororó Indian tribes, staying among them for a few days. In 1938, they returned for a second, more than half-year-long expedition to study the Nambikwara and Tupi-Kawahib societies. At this time, his wife suffered an eye infection that prevented her from completing the study, which he concluded; this experience cemented Lévi-Strauss's professional identity as an anthropologist. Edmund Leach suggests, from Lévi-Strauss's own accounts in Tristes Tropiques, that he could not have spent more than a few weeks in any one place and was never able to converse with any of his native informants in their native language, uncharacteristic of anthropological research methods of participatory interaction with subjects to gain a full understanding of a culture. In the 1980s, he suggested why he became vegetarian in pieces published in Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica and other publications anthologized in the posthumous book Nous sommes tous des cannibales: "A day will come when the thought that to feed themselves, men of the past raised and massacred living beings and complacently exposed their shredded flesh in displays shall no doubt inspire the same repulsion as that of the travellers of the 16th and 17th century facing cannibal meals of savage American primitives in America, Oceania or Africa."
Claude Lévi-Strauss was an atheist. Lévi-Strauss returned to France in 1939 to take part in the war effort, was assigned as a liaison agent to the Maginot Line. After the French capitulation in 1940, he was employed at a lycée in Montpellier, but was dismissed under the Vichy racial laws. By the same laws, he was denaturalized. Around that time, his first wife and he separated, she stayed behind and worked in the French resistance, while he managed to escape Vichy France by boat to Martinique, from where he was able to continue traveling. In 1941, he was offered a position at the New School for Social Research in New York City and granted admission to the United States. A series of voyages brought him, via South America, to Puerto Rico, where he was investigated by the FBI after German letters in his luggage aroused the suspicions of customs agents. Lévi-Strauss spent most of the war in New York City. Along with Jacques Maritain, Henri Focillon, Roman Jakobson, he was a founding member of the École Libre des Hautes Études, a sort of university-in-exile for French academics.
The war years in New York were formative for Lévi-Strauss in several ways. His relationship with Jakobson helped shape his theoretical outlook. In addition, Lévi-Strauss was exposed to the American anthropology espoused by Franz Boas, who taught at Columbia University. In 1942, while having dinner at the Faculty House at Columbia, Boas died of a heart attack in Lévi-Strauss's arms; this intimate association with Boas gave his early work a distinctive American inclination that helped facilitate its acceptance in the U. S. After a brief stint from 1946 to 1947 as a cultural attaché to the French embassy in Washington, DC, Lévi-Strauss returned to Paris in 1948. At this time, he received his state doctorate from the Sorbonne by submitting, in the French tradition, both a "major" and a "minor" doctoral thesis; these were The Family and So
Clifford James Geertz was an American anthropologist, remembered for his strong support for and influence on the practice of symbolic anthropology, and, considered "for three decades...the single most influential cultural anthropologist in the United States." He served until his death as professor emeritus at the Institute for Princeton. Geertz was born in San Francisco on August 23, 1926. After service in the US Navy in World War II, Geertz received his B. A. in philosophy from Antioch College in 1950. After graduating from Antioch he attended Harvard University from which he graduated in 1956, as a student in the Department of Social Relations; this interdisciplinary program was led by Talcott Parsons, Geertz worked with both Parsons and Clyde Kluckhohn. Geertz was trained as an anthropologist, conducted his first long-term fieldwork, together with his wife, Hildred, in Java, funded by the Ford Foundation and MIT, he studied the religious life of a small, upcountry town for two-and-a-half years, living with a railroad laborer's family.
After finishing his thesis, Geertz returned to Sumatra. He earned his Ph. D. in 1956 with a dissertation entitled Religion in Modjokuto: A Study of Ritual Belief In A Complex Society. He taught or held fellowships at a number of schools before joining the faculty of the anthropology department at the University of Chicago in 1960. In this period Geertz expanded his focus on Indonesia to include both Java and Bali and produced three books, including Religion of Java, Agricultural Involution, Peddlers and Princes. In the mid-1960s, he shifted course and began a new research project in Morocco that resulted in several publications, including Islam Observed, which compared Indonesia and Morocco. In 1970, Geertz left Chicago to become professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey from 1970 to 2000 as emeritus professor. In 1973, he published The Interpretation of Cultures, which collected essays Geertz had published throughout the 1960s; that became Geertz's best-known book and established him not just as an Indonesianist but as an anthropological theorist.
In 1974, he edited the anthology Myth, Culture that contained papers by many important anthropologists on symbolic anthropology. Geertz produced ethnographic pieces in this period, such as Kinship in Bali and Order in Moroccan Society and Negara. From the 1980s to his death, Geertz wrote more theoretical and essayistic pieces, including book reviews for the New York Review of Books; as a result, most of his books of the period are collections of essays, including Local Knowledge, Available Light and Life Among The Anthros. He produced the autobiographical After The Fact and Works and Lives, a series of short essays on the stylistics of ethnography. Geertz received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from some fifteen colleges and universities, including Harvard University, the University of Chicago and the University of Cambridge, he was married first to the anthropologist Hildred Geertz. After their divorce, he married Karen Blu an anthropologist. Clifford Geertz died of complications following heart surgery on October 30, 2006.
Geertz conducted extensive ethnographical research in North Africa. This fieldwork was the basis of Geertz's famous analysis of the Balinese cockfight among others, he was the director of the multidisciplinary project Committee for the Comparative Studies of New Nations while he held a position in Chicago in the 1960s. He conducted fieldwork in Morocco as part of this project on "bazaars, olive growing and oral poetry"; the ethnographic data for the famous essay on thick description was collected here. He contributed to social and cultural theory and is still influential in turning anthropology toward a concern with the frames of meaning within which various peoples live their lives, he reflected on the basic core notions such as culture and ethnography. At the time of his death, Geertz was working on the general question of ethnic diversity and its implications in the modern world. At the University of Chicago, Geertz became a champion of symbolic anthropology, a framework which gives prime attention to the role of symbols in constructing public meaning.
In his seminal work The Interpretation of Cultures, Geertz outlined culture as "a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which men communicate and develop their knowledge about and attitudes toward life."He was one of the earliest scholars to see that the insights provided by common language and literary analysis could have major explanatory force in the social sciences. Geertz aimed to provide the social sciences with an understanding and appreciation of “thick description.” Geertz applied thick description to anthropological studies, urging anthropologists to consider the limitations placed upon them by their own cultural cosmologies when attempting to offer insight into the cultures of other people. He produced theory. Max Weber and his interpretative social science are present in Geertz’s work. Geertz himself argues for a “semiotic” concept of culture: “Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun," he states, “I take culture to be those webs, a