Religion and Anthropology An Critical Introduction By Brian Morris
Religion and Anthropology An Critical Introduction By Brian Morris. This important study provides a critical introduction to the social anthropology of religion, focusing on more recent classical ethnographies. Comprehensive, free of scholastic jargon, engaging, and comparative in approach, it covers all the major religious traditions that have been studied concretely by anthropologists – Shamanism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and its relation to African and Melanesian religions, and contemporary Neo-Paganism.
Eschewing a thematic approach and treating religion as a social institution and not simply as an ideology or symbolic system, the book follows the dual heritage of social anthropology in combining an interpretative understanding and sociological analysis.
The book will appeal to all students of anthropology, whether established scholars or initiates to the discipline, as well as to students of the social sciences and religious studies, and to all those interested in comparative religion. Brian Morris is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, at the University of London. His many publications include Chewa Medical Botany (1996), Animals and Ancestors (2000), Kropotkin: The Politics of Community (2004),
Insects and Human Life (2004), and Anthropological Studies of Religion: An Introductory Text (Cambridge, 1987). This book is in a real sense an update and a sequel to my text Anthropological Studies of Religion (1987). It thus offers a critical introduction or guide to the extensive anthropological literature on religion that has been produced over the past forty years or so – with a specific focus on the more well-known and substantive ethnographic studies.
My earlier text gave a broad, historical but critical survey of the many different theoretical approaches to religion that had emerged since the end of the nineteenth century – a path that has since been well trod by several other scholars (e.g., Hamilton 1995, Pals 1996, Cunningham 1999, and D. Gellner 1999). Religion and Anthropology An Critical Introduction By Brian Morris