This fact, he argues, helps explain the tendency of Western scholars to dismiss intellectualist explanations of religion. Horton maintains that in addition to the use of a "personal idiom" to explain, predict, and control events, humans enter into "communion" relationships—personal relationships viewed as ends in themselves—with the personal entities postulated by religion. With the passage of time, the symbolic representations came to have an independent identity and became separated from that which they represented. The Ghost theory explains the origin of Religion in the idea of Ghosts. This comparatively coherent religious horizon eventually collapsed under the growing pressure exerted by European expansion. Freud asserted that religion is a largely unconscious neurotic response to repression. In various ways "homo religiosus " builds different myths, rites, and beliefs out from the universal symbols. The psychology of religion consists of the systematic study and interpretation of religion using the methods and theories of c…, Religion, Sociology of Horton finds this liberal attitude patronizing. 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. london: routledge and kegan paul, 1966. douglas, mary. It is the foundational belief upon which many branches of science are based. cambridge, uk: cambridge university press, 1990. leach, edmund. CONCEPT Support for Divine Command Theory 6 Which of the following represents a challenge to the intellectualist option of divine command theory? Essay on the Intellectualist Theories of Religion (1620 Words) (1) The Nature-Myth School: london: athlone, 1954. leach, edmund. The second kind of Magic was based on the notion that things that came into contact would remain in contact always. In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. karen fields. The practice of translating the premodern terms as religion, therefore, often misleads. The comparative study of religion formed a central building block of anthropology as the discipline emerged in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. From cognitive psychology Boyer adopts the conclusion that humans display cognitive biases that predispose the mind to attend to certain kinds of information, to classify it in specific ways, and to draw certain sorts of conclusions about it. Religionists of one persuasion or another sought out the origin of religion to defend their view from competing religious accounts or irreligious explanations. new york: peter lang, 1989. preuss, j. samuel. (ii) According to the many-gods objection, Pascals wager begs the question and hence is irrational. Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA). Hence, when the tribals want rain they go to hill top, sacrifice a small animal and throw down rocks and stones from the mountainside. Since, these will make a loud rumbling sound, rain will follow. What is secularism? Taken literally, religion, like science, represents an attempt to explain, predict, and control the environment. 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. Discuss its various elements. It is the opium of the people. primitive culture. Religion, he claims in On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers (1799), consists in "the sensibility and taste for the infinite" within finite experience (p. 103). The belief in a God was first which later became degraded as Animism. cambridge, uk: cambridge university press, 1996. smith, wilfred cantwell. The Age of Exploration and Empire increased European contact with non-European cultures and non-Western religions. Comte (1908) took up this theory and wrote that in due courses Fetishism was replaced by Polytheism. The general term religion reflects this differentiation. Frazer argues that mankind realized that magic was not real and that they had were not creating results. Tylor could not see the difference between the two concepts. Frazer saw some kind of a rationale behind Magic. He argued that belief in mana had both historical and theoretical priority. It is created for the scholar's analytic purposes by his imaginative acts of comparison and generalization. 3. Inverting his definition of religion, Durkheim ultimately claims that the uniting of the community explains the beliefs and practices about sacred things. on religion. Compare and contrast between Bhakti and Sufism. They criticized the Philological and Etymological approach to Religion. The ‘ancestor worship is the root of every Religion’. Society requires a periodic strengthening of the social bond through communal activity that reinforces collective feelings and ideas. Hume posits a natural propensity in humans to "conceive all beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object, those qualities, with which they are familiarly acquainted, and of which they are intimately conscious" (p. 29). Marett (1915) held that a belief in man and tabu (or taboo) provided a definition of the Magico-Religious thinking. It includes such facts as celebration, despair, ethical vigour, mystery, retreat, social activism, monastic quietude, contemplation, animal sacrifice, rituals involving pain and terror, images of hope, symbols of fear, the affirmation of life and struggle against death, creative growth, unthinking … In offering a sociological explanation of the personal beings that define religion, Horton departs from Hume. The need to gain favor, on the other hand, leads to the obsequious pursuit of ever more exalted terms of praise (and abject means of self-abasement), culminating in iconoclasm, monotheism, and an insistence on mystery. This distinction provides only a provisional orientation because humanistic theories can be given religious significance. 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. They made reasonable, though weak, inferences with regard to natural phenomena. Renewed attention to, and esteem for, ancient authors (e.g., Lucretius and Cicero) during the Augustan Age, moreover, supplied sources for naturalistic explanations of religion, critique of ritual, and materialistic cosmologies. These four could be arranged in a unified narrative by any of the three latter groups. Intellectualist theories link religiousness to a need to understand and control the world. 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. Hume rejects the theological anthropology of his forebears' Calvinism wherein God endows humans with an innate religious sense. Max Muller’s contemporaries, Herbert Spencer, Edward Tylor and Andrew Lang were the main critics of nature-myth theories. It represents "an extension of the field of people's social relationships beyond the confines of purely human society," an extension "in which the human beings involved see themselves in a dependent position vis-à-vis their non-human alters" (pp. Intellectualist Theories. Here is your essay on the intellectualist theories of religion ! In the modern West science has largely replaced the theoretical role for religion, granting communion greater prominence. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. They do not need to show that religion itself confers an evolutionary advantage, nor to delineate a feedback loop independent of natural selection. "religion as a cultural system." Durkheim grossly overstates the gulf between the social and individual levels of explanation, and even violates his own methodological prescriptions when he appeals to individual psychology in his theory of religion. Spencer published his views in 1882, eleven years after Tylor had published his book Primitive Culture in 1871. Religion-as-theory and religion-as-communion represent two poles or aspects of religion with varying relative salience depending on circumstance. Hume's theory explains religion in intellectual terms: as an account of the unknown causes at work in the natural and social worlds. Taking inspiration from Durkheim's injunction that "we must know how to reach beneath the symbol to grasp the reality it represents and that gives the symbol its true meaning" because the "most bizarre or barbarous rites and the strangest myths translate some human need and some aspect of life, whether social or individual," many twentieth-century scholars interpret religious beliefs primarily as symbolic expressions of existential concerns (p. 2). As early as 1799, however, an alte… In the service of religious polemic, early modern thinkers devised canons of inquiry and argument that were independent of religious presuppositions. Durkheim argues that the members of a society objectify and project outside their minds the feelings that the social collectivity inspires in them. Finally, Christians assimilated Greek mythology to biblical history by arguing that the Greek gods were actually demons, that the Greek myths were actually biblical stories about biblical characters but were corrupted through transmission, or that the Greek myths were allegories representing biblical or Christian virtues. 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. These latter are all universal, he claims, and have a "precise determinate object," whereas religion is not universal and is not uniform in its "ideas." Intellectualism, however, appears to be not only questionable but irrelevant. george eliot. Often these objects are used by the Magician to influence the life of the particular person, by performing a Ritual act on a piece of clothing or hair or nails. In biology, natural selection provides the feedback loop whereby the effect of an adaptation explains its presence in a population. new york: arno press, 1978. penner, hans. The human beings and nature stand in a relationship of awe, wonder and terror etc. Compare and contrast between Bhakti and Sufism. "magical hair." He claimed that the primitive belief in an impersonal force preceded beliefs in spiritual beings. Most importantly, perhaps, the Protestant Reformation shattered the relative uniformity of religious thought and culture in Christian Europe. notre dame, ind. Religion is the sigh of the creature overwhelmed by misfortune, the senti ment of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. Whereas Hume deems belief in invisible, human-like beings to be the hallmark of religion, Durkheim argues that the category of religion includes systems without spiritual beings (or, at least, systems like Buddhism, where spiritual beings possess, he claims, only minor importance). the meaning and end of religion (1962). The term invisible religion was introduced by the German sociologist Thomas Luckmann and became widespread following the publica…, Since the early 1900s anthropologists have been conducting field research to retrieve, record, classify, and interpret religious beliefs and practice…, Religiosity purity and danger. This article presents Tylor's main theories in the field of anthropology, especially as presented in his four published books, the most famous of which is Primitive Culture, and in the manuscript sources for his last, unpublished, one on ‘The natural history of religion’. cambridge, uk: cambridge university press, 1993. hume, david. However, the date of retrieval is often important. The theoretical study of religion emerged in the eighteenth century. Non-Western cultures, furthermore, did not have terms with anything like the same connotations or semantic scope. london: macmillan, 1976. freud, sigmund. The attempt to safeguard religion from science by maintaining the primacy of feeling—the approach shared by Schleiermacher, Muller, Eliade, and James—runs aground on the fact that religious feelings are not in truth independent of, and prior to, religious beliefs. In the magic, one tries to overpower or coerce the supernatural force through certain ‘Magical’ activities. Many twentieth-century anthropologists and sociologists adopt functionalism as an explanatory paradigm, but employ it uncritically. EMILE DURKHEIM, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life This paper proposes a … Religion has … 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. An evolutionary theory is the development of one species is the basis of their predecessor. To characterize religion most generally, he introduces a notion that influenced Eliade and his followers, and that eventually succumbed to ethnographic counterexamples. This website includes study notes, research papers, essays, articles and other allied information submitted by visitors like YOU. As part of his larger project to create a science of human nature, Hume seeks both to isolate the causes of religion in human nature and to identify the consequences of religion in light of human nature. Sometimes they both also explain away and stigmatize objections, rather than meeting them. Tylor’s definition being general labels all faiths and beliefs as Religion. ." These features, together with the all-encompassing nature of their theories and the reverence accorded to the founders and the founding texts, leads some critics to liken Marxism and psychoanalysis to religions. new york: d. appleton, 1862. stout, jeffrey. They too see religion in conflict with science. "Religion, Theories of edition. Religion, as a social fact, can help explain the individual's religious feelings better than the individual's religious feelings can explain religion. Elster, nevertheless, rightly criticizes the all too frequent assumption in social scientific theory that unintended beneficial effects provide sufficient explanation for their cause. Durkheim's theory of religion exemplifies how functionalists examine sociological phenomena. Durkheim believes that the key to explaining religion is a consideration of the individual's relationship to society. Anthropomorphizing the unknown causes not only renders them more familiar and comprehensible, but also furnishes the possibility of gaining their favor "by gifts and entreaties, by prayers and sacrifices" to control future events (p. 47). Although the believer understands them literally, religious beliefs and practices are fundamentally not attempts at explanation, prediction, and control. ulysses and the sirens: studies in rationality and irrationality, rev. Sometimes he treats it purely as an illustration of a universal psychological conflict. Sometimes they heedlessly suppose that the (putative) benefits maintain the beliefs or practices. The people thought of celestial bodies, such as, moon, start, dawn and their attributes in terms of metaphor and symbol. As an adult, Freud considered himself an atheist, but his Jewish background and upbringing and background played an important role in the development of his ideas. It assumes that if God exists then God must take a rather specific form, which few open-… 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. This new cosmopolitanism eroded some of the inevitability clothing Western forms of theism. 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. : university of notre dame press, 1981. tylor, edward. Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. Secondly, the logical process given by Tylor by which the idea of Soul leads primitives to the idea of spirits is not understandable. new haven, conn.: yale university press, 1987. proudfoot, wayne. This religious feeling is independent of, and prior to, all thought or belief, though it naturally finds expression in language. the future of an illusion (1928), trans. 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. Though the polemical inspiration for theories of religion has receded in many quarters, one can nevertheless profitably make a heuristic distinction between humanistic theories of religion and religious theories of religion. Max Muller, a German linguist, propounded this theory. The motivation to interpret religious beliefs symbolically derives, he argues, from liberal scruples about attributing massive error to so-called primitives. 6. They soon came to recognize this force as worthy of worship. . Retrieved December 20, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/religion-theories. Concern about the "various and contrary events of human life" elicits hopes and fears whose object are the unknown causes of those events (p. 28). How is his story about that process consistent with the intellectualist approach to religion in general ? The Animism or the Soul theory says the same thing in terms of the idea of Soul. In the social sciences they explain an institution or behavior in terms of its unintended, beneficial effects. new york: penguin, 1984. andresen, jensine. ." Later, Victorian anthropologists like Edward Tyler, James Frazer, and Herbert Spencer likewise adopt a fundamentally intellectualist explanation of religion. Yet, they believe this humanistic theory culminates in what they call neurotheology, a "megatheology" whose content could be adopted by most of the world's major religions. the flight from authority: religion, morality, and the quest for autonomy. new york: norton, 1975. geertz, clifford. 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. : harvard university press, 1959. marx, karl, and engels, frederick. He characterizes religion as a system of partial anthropomorphism (i.e., gods are only human-like, they are not human simpliciter ) centered on communication with humanlike beings through symbolic action. According to Tylor these spiritual beings later develop into Gods. berkeley: university of california press, 1985. schleiermacher, friedrich. Despite Durkheim's enormous influence over subsequent social scientific theory of religion, some late twentieth-century theory sustains themes advanced by Hume in the eighteenth century. Religion came to be viewed as a discreet domain of culture, distinct from morality, and ranged alongside law, science, politics, and art. Science as an institution, by contrast, has historically resisted the tendency to anthropomorphize. In his opinion grand natural objects gave people a feeling of the infinite as well as acted as symbols of the infinite. As early as 1799, however, an alternative explanation of religion emerges. Durkheim proposes to explain the persistence of religion (its "ever-present causes") despite the errors it contains (p. 7). patterns of thought in africa and the west: essays on magic, religion, and science. Religions are thus systems that provide parameters within which people interpret and try to influence the world and attempt to explain the inexplicable. Explain the intellectualist theories of religion. Religiosity is a term used by social scientists to refer to religious behavior. Religion, they contend, is a by-product of evolved cognitive biases. Some scholars have argued that Magic rather than Religion is the more primitive way of dealing with crises. Lang did not accept that the idea of Gods could have arisen as a late development from a belief in Ghost or spirits. Publish your original essays now. According to Durkheim, people see religion as contributing to the health and continuation of society in general. explaining religion: criticism and theory from bodin to freud. For Durkheim community is intrinsic to the idea of religion. For example, Depresses (1760) advanced a theory that religion had its origin in fetishism (belief in magical fetishes or objects): The Portuguese sailors had 30 reported that the coastal Negro tribes of West Africa worshipped inanimate things and animals. David Hume's The Natural History of Religion (1757) is the most influential eighteenth-century humanistic theory of religion. The emergent theoretical study of religion had its inception in apologetics and polemics. Critics in turn have raised a number of now-classic challenges. Eugene d'Aquili and Andrew Newberg present another case where the distinction between humanistic and religious theories breaks down. The dreams are real life-experiences by the primitives. the essence of christianity (1841), trans. Society subjects individuals to restraints and privations, but social interaction also fosters courage and confidence. As a result, he referred to it as the ‘bastard sister of Science’. Conceived by Jansenists to defend their theology against papal condemnation, modern probability theory, for example, both rendered religious presuppositions optional, and facilitated modern science (Stout, 1981). Society and Religion Assignment Code: ESO-15/AST/TMA/2017-2018 Questions Solved In Assignment: Explain the intellectualist theories of religion. Detractors have labeled both Marx and Freud pseudo-scientific. In his opinion from a dependence on Magic, one would turn to Religion and then eventually to Scientific thinking. A religion is a shared system of beliefs and practices concerning sacred things that unites a community. Myths nevertheless metaphorically express the experience of the infinite. In his pithy phrase, "Ignorance is the mother of devotion" (p. 75). Moments of what Durkheim calls "collective effervescence," when the social group physically gathers and the individual feels uplifted and fortified by the crowd, are especially powerful, Durkheim claims, in creating religious ideas and the sacred. To try to explain religion through a theory of the person entirely misses the social dynamics creating this social fact. Religions are attempts to allay guilt by deferred obedience to the father. The term "theory" in science can mean something much different from a hunch, which is how the public generally uses the word.Many leading scientists consider the Theory of Evolution of plant and animal species as far more than a simple idea. Marx endorses Feuerbach's view of religion as alienation and projection, but argues that religion, or alienated consciousness, is only an epiphenomenal reflection of a more basic dehumanizing alienation at the level of social and economic organization. Robin Horton (the first man who wrote the article in April of 1971), basically introduces what he calls the “Intellectualist Theory”. Although Hume believes that both polytheism and monotheism compromise and distort natural human virtue, he believes that monotheism engenders intolerance and exhibits a greater proneness to enormities. Section 2. Examine the nexus between religion and politics of the state. Durkheim argues that religion persists because it satisfies social needs. the elementary forms of religious life (1912), trans. Blatant contradictions in theologies of all types manifest the tension between these needs. Later, Victorian anthropologists like Edward Tyler, James Frazer, and Herbert Spencer likewise adopt a fundamentally intellectualist explanation of religion. journal of the royal anthropological institute 88 (1958): 147–164. BIBLIOGRAPHY Unwilling to declare religion obsolete, Friedrich Schleiermacher argues that it constitutes an autonomous domain distinct from science. 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. Early human beings were unable to understand or explain the world of nature. the golden bough (1922). They ended up worshipping it out of fear and awe. Rather, the latter simply make some supernatural concepts—the one's concerning full access strategic agents—more relevant. In the light of social evolutionary models of human development, religious practice was perceived as providing a powerful index of the mental and moral levels of so-called primitive peoples. Tylor’s definition of Religion is that Religion originated from a belief in spiritual beings. This leads to the conception of a supernatural being in the form of a Ghost. Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. In their opinion, primitive societies offered an evidence of the earliest forms of Religion. Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. . The phenomenon called religion is extremely variegated, complex, intricate and full of paradoxes. In premodern Europe, the known religious horizon consisted of (1) the mythology of ancient Greek and Roman pagans, (2) Jews, (3) Muslims, and (4) Christians. They believe that the Supreme being is responsible for all the activities that occur under the sun, they believe that the universe responds accortdibng to ones behavior, it punishes the wrong doers and it rewards those who practice good morals in the society. The study of the relationship of religion to social structures and social processes. the natural history of religion (1757). The social discord in which the Reformation culminated made it necessary, furthermore, to privatize religion, to push it out of public affairs for the sake of peace. Like the concept of religion itself, it is the product of, among other influences, the Age of Exploration and Empire (fifteenth and sixteenth centuries), the Protestant Reformation (sixteenth century), and the Augustan Age (eighteenth century). Discuss the social significance of pilgrimages. Both the intellectualist and the myth-ritualist theory focus on primitive religion, but they regard modern religion as only a pale variant of it. When Magic and associated Rituals failed, primitive people’s thoughts, turned to the possibility of a far greater force in the world of nature. They see him both explaining religion in terms of the humans who create it, and treating humanity as a religious entity. new york: basic books, 2001. d'aquili, eugene, and newberg, andrew. Hence when ever Magic fails, its failure is rationally explained as under: (i) The practitioner forgetting to perform some prescribed act, or, (ii) His ignoring to observe some prohibition, or. R.R. Therefore they believed that a greater stronger being was in control and caused these effects. Only a standpoint that abstracts from contested religious criteria could resolve such a dispute. london: murray, 1871. 2. The Soul theory of Tylor has elements of the sacred and the supernatural. Share Your Essays.com is the home of thousands of essays published by experts like you! Worship, undertaken to maintain the relationship between the individual and the sacred, actually maintains the relationship between the individual and the reality behind the sacred—society. cambridge, mass. religion in mind: cognitive perspectives on religious belief, ritual, and experience. Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. 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