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explain the intellectualist theories of religion

Detractors have labeled both Marx and Freud pseudo-scientific. This definition, based on the "readily visible outward features" of religion, bears a symmetrical relation to Durkheim's hypothesis concerning its "deep and truly explanatory elements" (p. 21). In the mid-twentieth century Mircea Eliade interpreted religious symbolism in light of what he called hierophanies, the religious experiences wherein one perceives a mode of the transcendent, wholly other "sacred" in a mundane object. These four could be arranged in a unified narrative by any of the three latter groups. Religious concepts concern agents who counterintuitively have full access to information pertinent to social interaction. They are not an "original instinct or primary impression of nature," like self-love, sexual drive, or love of progeny (p. 21). TOS4. A religion is a shared system of beliefs and practices concerning sacred things that unites a community. Lang (1989:2) argued that the idea of God cannot have evolved out of reflections on dreams and “Ghosts”, because the two have entirely different origins. It produced different and warring "religions" (i.e., conceptions of piety and worship), justified by competing criteria of religious authority. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Lang did not accept that the idea of Gods could have arisen as a late development from a belief in Ghost or spirits. Section 2. 5. Even hair and nail clippings represent the concerned person. It includes the study of the relation of…, private religion In conventional sociological terms, religion is a public activity involving communal practices (such as worship and sacraments), and…, Religion, Naturalistic Reconstructions of, Religion in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, Religion in Mexico, Catholic Church and Beyond, Religion in Canada: A Historical Survey, 1500 to the Present, Religion, Western Perceptions of Traditional Religions, Religion, Western Perceptions of World Religions, Religion, Western Presence in Southeast Asia, Religion, Western Presence in the Pacific, Religion: Indigenous Peoples' View, South America, https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/religion-theories. Explain the intellectualist theories of religion. Although the believer understands them literally, religious beliefs and practices are fundamentally not attempts at explanation, prediction, and control. Unlike science, however, which employs impersonal processes and entities as its explanatory idiom, religion employs personal forces and entities. new york: d. appleton, 1862. stout, jeffrey. He distinguished between two types of Magic practiced by primitive people. Though Boyer is critical of intellectualist explanations, both Guthrie and Boyer share Hume's view that religion does not represent "an original instinct or primary impression" in human nature. Non-Western cultures, furthermore, did not have terms with anything like the same connotations or semantic scope. These cognitively interesting concepts gain salience from their relative counterintuitiveness, and Boyer provides experimental evidence to show that they are more memorable than intuitive ones. Ludwig Feuerbach, for instance, argued in The Essence of Christianity (1841) that humans unconsciously project the essential characteristics of the human species outside themselves and reify them in the form of a divine being. The Animism or the Soul theory says the same thing in terms of the idea of Soul. . Encyclopedia.com. Another important figure in the development of theories of religion was the British folklorist Sir James Frazer (1854–1941), in whose major work, The Golden Bough, is set forth a mass of evidence to establish the thesis that human beings must have begun with magic and progressed to religion and from that to science. cambridge, uk: cambridge university press, 1984. feuerbach, ludwig. They criticized the Philological and Etymological approach to Religion. the varieties of religious experience (1902). the meaning and end of religion (1962). It is the opium of the people. He argues that simply demonstrating that unintended, beneficial effects result from the presence of an institution or behavior in a society does not suffice to explain the presence of the institution or the behavior. The Reformation made possible a nonreligious position from which to reflect critically on religion, conceived as a general category identifying one aspect of human intellectual, emotional, and social life. edition. The bloodshed caused by religious violence and the growing explanatory power of science led others to adopt a nonreligious stance to try to explain religion in nonreligious terms, often with the intention of hastening its supposed demise. Schleiermacher and James also flout the proper order of explanation. mark musa. The second kind of Magic was based on the notion that things that came into contact would remain in contact always. Elster, nevertheless, rightly criticizes the all too frequent assumption in social scientific theory that unintended beneficial effects provide sufficient explanation for their cause. Rituals, meant to strengthen society's relationship to the sacred, strengthen society. This was a situation where Magic had its basis on the principle feat ‘like produces like’ or a law of similarity. Freud equivocates about the historicity of this oedipal conflict. Individual psychology, however, cannot explain a social fact. He insisted that humanity must overcome its self-induced self-alienation by self-consciously restoring its nature to itself. In The Mystical Mind (1999) they provide models of brain function to explain mystical experience, myth, and ritual. As a result, he referred to it as the ‘bastard sister of Science’. He shows that the primitives were rational though with a limited quantum of knowledge. Tylor’s theory that experiences of death, disease and dreams make primitives believe in the existence of an immaterial entity, cannot be proved. Religion came to be viewed as a discreet domain of culture, distinct from morality, and ranged alongside law, science, politics, and art. The need for familiarity and concrete, even sensible, representations of unknown causes explains idols, polytheism, and mythology. new york: basic books, 2001. d'aquili, eugene, and newberg, andrew. Tylor’s definition of Religion is that Religion originated from a belief in spiritual beings. in implicit meanings. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. Religion has … Dr. Gerald Wheeler, director of the National Science Teachers … Though Horton revives both intellectualism and a variation of Hume's definition of religion, he repudiates the sort of distasteful elitism Hume epitomizes and remedies Hume's neglect of the social factors causing religion. The death is a longer period of insensibility. In the modern West science has largely replaced the theoretical role for religion, granting communion greater prominence. Published by Experts, Essay on the Evolutionary and Functional Theories of Religion (719 Words), Essay on the Relation between Religion and Social Change (2407 Words), Short Essay on Sects, Cults and Denominations (284 Words), Essay on Evolutionism and its Roots (830 Words), Essay on Leadership: Introduction, Functions, Types, Features and Importance. "religion as a cultural system." Its conceptual configurations took shape from contemporary general attitudes toward religion and other human cultural phenomena, from current theories against which it reacted, and from ethnographic data that had surfaced in the nineteenth century. Durkheim's theory of religion exemplifies how functionalists examine sociological phenomena. In biology, natural selection provides the feedback loop whereby the effect of an adaptation explains its presence in a population. Encyclopedia.com. The mind has biases toward a few "ontological categories" (e.g., inanimate objects, animate objects, and agents) that activate specialized "inference systems" (e.g., intuitive physics, intuitive biology, and intuitive psychology). "Religion, Theories of 2. Examine the nexus between religion and politics of the state. london: routledge and kegan paul, 1975. durkheim, emile. They too see religion in conflict with science. manuel, frank. This belonged to the nature-myth school which had to be challenged before the ghost and soul theories could be popular.’ In terms of the chronology of ideas on religion, the nature-myth school came before the above-mentioned theories. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html. Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. This impasse made necessary a neutral stance for assessing religious claims. Myths nevertheless metaphorically express the experience of the infinite. According to Muller, the Religion of early man can be studied by looking into linguistic Etymological meaning of the name of Gods and legends associated with them. 1: the inferno, trans. Therefore they believed that a greater stronger being was in control and caused these effects. patterns of thought in africa and the west: essays on magic, religion, and science. Prevalent in biology, functional explanations explain something by its function, or what it does. moscow: progress, 1957. muller, f. max. Unlike Tylor and Frazer, Freud attempted to explain why religion persists in spite of the lack of evidence for its tenets. Before publishing your Essay on this site, please read the following pages: 1. In The Meaning and End of Religion (1962), Wilfred Cantwell Smith documents how the premodern etymological antecedents of the modern word religion (e.g., Latin religio ) generally mean something like "the pious Christian rites of worship," not what the modern word means. Secondly, the role of Religious specialists such as Magicians and priests in dealing with the world of the supernatural. The social function of religion manifests itself as it “serves as the carrier of social sentiments providing symbols and rituals that enable people to express the deep…show more content… Dynamism was formulated as a theoretical alternative to other proposed theories on the origin of religion. The main distinction between Religion and Magic is as under: In the Religion one deals with a supernatural force by submitting to it through prayer, worship and Rituals. new york: basic books, 1973. guthrie, stewart. Religions are thus systems that provide parameters within which people interpret and try to influence the world and attempt to explain the inexplicable. In Ulysses and the Sirens (1984) Jon Elster provides the most penetrating analysis of the logic and the pitfalls of functional explanation. The two tendencies produce contrary movements, furthermore, and initiate a continuous "flux and reflux" between polytheism and monotheism. the divine comedy, vol. the sacred and the profane: the nature of religion, trans. An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking, research, and reflection about the reality of society, who may also propose solutions for the normative problems of society, and thus gains authority as a public intellectual. Society subjects individuals to restraints and privations, but social interaction also fosters courage and confidence. The Age of Exploration and Empire increased European contact with non-European cultures and non-Western religions. He even wrote several books focused on the topic of religion. They explicitly aver that their models explain the origin of religion. On this interpretation, Feuerbach's humanistic theory has religious inspiration; it articulates a religious naturalism. https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/religion-theories, "Religion, Theories of political system of highland burma. They mean, then, to be describing religion generally, to which modern science is the successor - the successor precisely because it serves the same functions as religion. When Magic and associated Rituals failed, primitive people’s thoughts, turned to the possibility of a far greater force in the world of nature. In his pithy phrase, "Ignorance is the mother of devotion" (p. 75). Rapidly changing societies with good technological control, on the other hand, draw their analogies from the natural and artificial realms, which to them seem most predictable. The theoretical study of religion emerged in the eighteenth century. According to it, ancient Gods were universally personifications of natural phenomena. This may well be correct. ulysses and the sirens: studies in rationality and irrationality, rev. Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. Later, Victorian anthropologists like Edward Tyler, James Frazer, and Herbert Spencer likewise adopt a fundamentally intellectualist explanation of religion. In Religion Explained (2001), Pascal Boyer supplies a complementary cognitive theory that likewise characterizes religion as essentially concerned with person-like beings and explains it as a by-product of evolved mental dispositions. Some read The Essence of Christianity as a theological text because they view Feuerbach as collapsing the distinction between a humanistic theory and a religious theory. impasse and resolution: a critique of the study of religion. One should ground explanations of social facts in sociology, or a theory of society. Most importantly, perhaps, the Protestant Reformation shattered the relative uniformity of religious thought and culture in Christian Europe. Previous theorists grounded their explanations in anthropology, or a theory of the person. According to Durkheim, people see religion as contributing to the health and continuation of society in general. Although Durkheim relies on irremediably faulty ethnography and untenable assumptions about the simplicity of "primitive" societies, his interpretation of Australian religion well illustrates his general theory. According to Tylor, experiences of death, disease, visions and dreams lead the primitives to think about the existence of immaterial power, i.e., the Soul. The extraordinary plasticity of their interpretive principles renders their systems virtually invulnerable to counter-evidence. Others, like Mary Douglas and Edmund Leach, who follow even more closely in Durkheim's footsteps, have documented rich correlations between social arrangements and religious representations. Explain the intellectualist theories of religion. The Ghost theory explains the origin of Religion in the idea of Ghosts. Sometimes they both also explain away and stigmatize objections, rather than meeting them. the naturalness of religious ideas: a cognitive theory of religion. In this last judgment Hume attends to the extraordinary diversity of religious beliefs. Boyer contends that supernatural concepts preserve most intuitive expectations, but conspicuously violate a few (e.g., invulnerable organisms or percipient artifacts). Explain the intellectualist theories of religion. on religion: speeches to its cultured despisers (1799), trans. Nature-Myth school was a German School, dealing with Indo-European Religions. Retrieved December 20, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/religion-theories. Rather, the latter simply make some supernatural concepts—the one's concerning full access strategic agents—more relevant. He owes much to Tylor but places magic in a phase anterior to belief in supernatural … Early human beings were unable to understand or explain the world of nature. See also Freud, Sigmund; Hume, David; Mysticism; Neurotheology; Sociology. Like Hume, they believe that religion derives from more fundamental human propensities and predispositions. 6. The motivation to interpret religious beliefs symbolically derives, he argues, from liberal scruples about attributing massive error to so-called primitives. The people thought of celestial bodies, such as, moon, start, dawn and their attributes in terms of metaphor and symbol. While allowing that religious beliefs can reflect social preoccupations, he rejects symbolic understandings of religion because the subjects of his fieldwork in Africa construe their religious beliefs literally. Religions are attempts to allay guilt by deferred obedience to the father. It claims to confirm, continue, correct, and complete earlier revelation. intellectualist theories: it suggests that other aspects of religion can be explained by starting with what participants believe. alighieri, dante. ." Sir Edward Tylor’s theory of Animism considers both the origin and “development of Religion”. EMILE DURKHEIM, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life This paper proposes a … Religionists of one persuasion or another sought out the origin of religion to defend their view from competing religious accounts or irreligious explanations. Society requires a periodic strengthening of the social bond through communal activity that reinforces collective feelings and ideas. In his opinion from a dependence on Magic, one would turn to Religion and then eventually to Scientific thinking. Content Guidelines 2. Religion-as-theory and religion-as-communion represent two poles or aspects of religion with varying relative salience depending on circumstance. george eliot. Explain the concept of Protestantism in the light of economic development. the essence of christianity (1841), trans. Sometimes they heedlessly suppose that the (putative) benefits maintain the beliefs or practices. The ‘ancestor worship is the root of every Religion’. berkeley: university of california press, 1985. schleiermacher, friedrich. Unwilling to declare religion obsolete, Friedrich Schleiermacher argues that it constitutes an autonomous domain distinct from science. 4. They gain this additional salience from their "aggregate relevance" to important social and moral processes. In The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), he argues that various inarticulate feelings of the presence or reality of an unseen something more that is congruent with human interests explain religion. For Frazer, Magic, was a means of coming to terms with the supernatural and gaining control over the environment that may have spelt danger or disaster for primitive people. In offering a sociological explanation of the personal beings that define religion, Horton departs from Hume. stanford, calif.: stanford university press, 1956. james, william. In order better to conduct religious debate, early modern thinkers secularized inquiry. Schleiermacher's religious approach to religion influenced later theory as much as Hume's humanistic one. Religious theories explain religion in terms of a religious object, entity, force, or ultimate reality. The human beings and nature stand in a relationship of awe, wonder and terror etc. Introduction to the sacred power, he also theorizes that religion is solely creation... Entity, force, or cognition and reflux '' between polytheism and monotheism Fetishism was replaced by polytheism German... Intellectualist explanations of religion ( its `` ever-present causes '' ) despite the errors contains!, Feuerbach 's theory is the foundational belief upon which many branches of science ’ in a... Development from a dependence on Magic, religion, his theory of Tylor has advanced explain the intellectualist theories of religion casual.! Penguin, 1984. andresen, jensine following represents a challenge to the science of religion emerges due courses Fetishism replaced. Cambridge university press, 1956. James, william: https: //www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/religion-theories in Assignment: the. Various objects impersonal force preceded beliefs in spiritual beings answer the following questions about... Are attempts to allay guilt by deferred obedience to the intellectualist theories of (... Hume consider religion a fit object for scientific investigation, he argues, liberal. Be incorporated into the narratives of premodern Europe notre dame press, 1987. proudfoot wayne. Beliefs out from the clan itself 1993. Horton, robin the Magic, religion, trans the called... Is further divided into intellectualist theories link religiousness to a need to show that religion is a by-product of cognitive! In about 250 words each Andrew Lang ( 1844-1912 ) a pupil of Tylor, Edward of.... Choosing which beliefs explain the intellectualist theories of religion hold is practically impossible religious approach to religion later. Beings later develop into Gods breaks down in Assignment: explain the tendency Hume.. To its cultured despisers ( 1799 ), trans held that a greater stronger being in... Social scientists who invoke functional explanations fail to specify a comparable feedback loop whereby the of. Adduces copious evidence to suggest a propensity in human nature to itself influential eighteenth-century humanistic of. Of visible and invisible conditions interpretation, Feuerbach 's theory is humanistic opinion primitive. Western forms of religious thought the essence of christianity ( 1841 ), trans and... No means to know if this or something else is what was thought. Both authored prominent humanistic theories explain religion in intellectual terms: as an illustration of a society objectify and outside. Made necessary a neutral stance for assessing religious claims humanity must overcome its self-induced self-alienation by self-consciously restoring its to. In language of. to intellectualism, however, which thereby becomes sacred perceive agents will inevitably produce results! Soul is projected on to creatures other than human and even to inanimate objects is due Magician! Night while the shadow-self acts by the primitives their surroundings, rain will follow entries and articles not. A new theory of Tylor has elements of the scholar 's analytic purposes by his imaginative acts comparison. Kill and devour their father beliefs out from the clan itself or belief, ritual, and humanity... For Durkheim community is intrinsic to the health and continuation of society of comparison and generalization often. Theorizes that religion is extremely variegated, complex, intricate and full of paradoxes profane: evolutionary... Guilt by deferred obedience to the father moves about at night while the shadow-self acts by primitives!, wilfred cantwell orientation because humanistic theories can be given religious significance the infinite on a regular basis premodern....

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