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17 Cards in this Set

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A system of beliefs, practices, and philosophical values shared by a group of people that defines the sacred, helps explain life and offers salvation from the problems of human existence
Religion
Patterns of behavior or practices that are related to the sacred
rituals
An active attempt to coerce spirits or to control supernatural forces
Magic
Belief in the existence of nonpersonalized supernatural forces that can and often do influence human events
Supernaturalism
A diffuse, nonpersonalized force that acts through anything that lives or moves
Mana
A sacred prohibition against touching, mentioning, or looking at certain objects, acts, or people.
Religious taboo
Belief in inanimate, personalized spirits or ghosts of ancestors that take an interest in and actively work to influence human affairs
Animism
Belief in a number of gods
Polytheism
The process by which people lose control over the social institutions they themselves invented
Alienation
Tends to limit its membership to a particular class, ethnic, or religious group
Denomination
Movements that typically prophesy the end of the world, the destruction of all evil people and their works, and the saving of the just
Millenarian movements
The trend among many religious communities to draw together and project a sense of unity and common direction
Ecumenism
The first sociologist to distinguish between the sacred and the profane who discussed religion's role in promoting social cohesion
Emile Durkheim
Discussed, in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, how the ideology of Calvinism had influenced the development of capitalism
Max Weber
Showed that the Hindu belief in the sacredness of cows is a positive strategy for adapting to the environment in India and therefore quite rational
Marvin Harris
Saw religion as a tool that the upper classes use to maintain control of society and to dominate the lower classes.
Karl Marx
An anthropologist who explained the functional differences between religion and magic, with the former uniting a group of believers and the latter helping the individual who used magic
Bronislaw Malinowski