explain the intellectualist theories of religion

According to Tylor these spiritual beings later develop into Gods. 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. He claimed that the primitive belief in an impersonal force preceded beliefs in spiritual beings. Our mission is to provide an online platform to help students to discuss anything and everything about Essay. the future of an illusion (1928), trans. Nevertheless, he offers a salutary corrective. The reports of seafarers about exotic beliefs and practices introduced ethnographic data that could not easily be incorporated into the narratives of premodern Europe. They are based variously on ideas human social structures, emotions, or cognition. new york: basic books, 1973. guthrie, stewart. The idea of Ghosts grows into the idea Gods and the Ghosts of ancestors become divine beings. the natural history of religion (1757). "self-evidence." He shows that the primitives were rational though with a limited quantum of knowledge. new york: free press, 1995. eliade, mircea. the elementary forms of religious life (1912), trans. Discuss the social significance of pilgrimages. It almost seems, on Hume's view, as if each individual concocts religion independently. 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. KARL MARX Marxism is undoubtedly a religion, in the lowest sense of the word. In order better to conduct religious debate, early modern thinkers secularized inquiry. Society requires a periodic strengthening of the social bond through communal activity that reinforces collective feelings and ideas. Concepts involving "full-access strategic agents" gain plausibility and significance from the role they can play in moral reasoning, their congruity with human intuitions about the causes of misfortune, and their capacity to explain the social effects created in ritual. Before publishing your Essay on this site, please read the following pages: 1. oxford: oxford university press, 1993. horton, robin. the essence of christianity (1841), trans. In his book, The Principles of Sociology, Spencer (1876-96) discuss primitive beliefs. george eliot. Early cognitive theorists of religion: Robin Horton and his predecessors One of the major theories that he outlined in the work was ‘animism’ – the idea that all religions evolved from a rudimentary belief in spirits animating the world. Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. This religious feeling is independent of, and prior to, all thought or belief, though it naturally finds expression in language. Publish your original essays now. . ." INTRODUCTION Anthropological theories of religion are diverse. They are not an "original instinct or primary impression of nature," like self-love, sexual drive, or love of progeny (p. 21). He owes much to Tylor but places magic in a phase anterior to belief in supernatural … 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. William James also holds that religious feelings are primary and the explanation of religion. james strachey. 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. Religious phenomenon. minneapolis, minn.: fortress press, 1991. spencer, herbert. Sleep is temporary loss of sensibilities. cambridge, uk: cambridge university press, 1993. hume, david. In composing a "natural history" of religion, Hume brings religious phenomena within the purview of science. They criticized the Philological and Etymological approach to Religion. Humanistic theories explain religion in terms of the humans who create or subscribe to them. Individual psychology, however, cannot explain a social fact. They too see religion in conflict with science. 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. 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. karen fields. 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. If God is conceived as love, for example, humanity must come to see that love, as an essential component of human nature, is divine. Rather, they are metaphorical expressions of social realities. The belief in a God was first which later became degraded as Animism. One should ground explanations of social facts in sociology, or a theory of society. 3. Sometimes he portrays the primal crime as an historical phylogenetic truth. 31–32). The study of the relationship of religion to social structures and social processes. It is further divided into intellectualist theories and emotionalist theories. They feel acted on by a mighty moral force to which they are subject, and, not surprisingly, they imagine it external to them. Intellectualist Theories. They observed sun, moon, clouds and stars come and go, and got the notion of visible and invisible conditions. In various ways "homo religiosus " builds different myths, rites, and beliefs out from the universal symbols. Stewart Guthrie, on the contrary, adheres to Hume's anthropological approach. Content Guidelines 2. 6. Hume's theory explains religion in intellectual terms: as an account of the unknown causes at work in the natural and social worlds. Therefore they believed that a greater stronger being was in control and caused these effects. ulysses and the sirens: studies in rationality and irrationality, rev. Ultimately, he ventures the humanistic hypothesis that the subconscious explains the experiences he describes, but he countenances religious theory by allowing that a religious reality could work through the subconscious. 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. Compare and contrast between Bhakti and Sufism. Dream Theory of Religion the theory that states that humans used the existence of dreams, in which a person could leave the body and dead spirits could appear, as an indication that the soul could exist apart from the body. They gain this additional salience from their "aggregate relevance" to important social and moral processes. To explain an institution or behavior's presence by its effects, one must also identify a feedback loop "whereby the effect maintains its cause" (p. 32). The Animism or the Soul theory says the same thing in terms of the idea of Soul. R.R. It is the opium of the people. FUNDAMENTALISM Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Jews and Muslims had their own unifying narratives. Religion came to be viewed as a discreet domain of culture, distinct from morality, and ranged alongside law, science, politics, and art. 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. Later, Victorian anthropologists like Edward Tyler, James Frazer, and Herbert Spencer likewise adopt a fundamentally intellectualist explanation of religion. cambridge, uk: cambridge university press, 1990. leach, edmund. Both the intellectualist and the myth-ritualist theory focus on primitive religion, but they regard modern religion as only a pale variant of it. ." In Hume's naturalistic anthropology, religious principles are derivative. Specifically religious concepts (as opposed to folklore, myths, etc.) edition. 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 primitives do not, for good reasons, see the futility of Magic. 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. This was a situation where Magic had its basis on the principle feat ‘like produces like’ or a law of similarity. london: routledge and kegan paul, 1975. durkheim, emile. A religion is a shared system of beliefs and practices concerning sacred things that unites a community. Thus, religion functions to bind society's members by prompting them to affirm their common values and beliefs on a regular basis. Nature-Myth school was a German School, dealing with Indo-European Religions. Section – II . the mystical mind: probing the biology of religious experience. In this last judgment Hume attends to the extraordinary diversity of religious beliefs. They soon came to recognize this force as worthy of worship. The emergent theoretical study of religion had its inception in apologetics and polemics. What is secularism? 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. The Soul exists independent of its physical home in the body. Secondly, the logical process given by Tylor by which the idea of Soul leads primitives to the idea of spirits is not understandable. minneapolis, minn.: fortress press, 1999. douglas, mary. Religion has … 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). What is secularism? Explain the concept of Protestantism in the light of economic development. 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… https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/religion-theories, "Religion, Theories of Unlike Tylor and Frazer, Freud attempted to explain why religion persists in spite of the lack of evidence for its tenets. It is the foundational belief upon which many branches of science are based. cambridge, uk: cambridge university press, 1984. feuerbach, ludwig. Explain the intellectualist theories of religion. 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. berkeley: university of california press, 1994. boyer, pascal. © 2019 Encyclopedia.com | All rights reserved. in the interpretation of cultures. The human beings and nature stand in a relationship of awe, wonder and terror etc. They fix the feelings on some object, which thereby becomes sacred. 4. Religionists of one persuasion or another sought out the origin of religion to defend their view from competing religious accounts or irreligious explanations. Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. Likewise, they get the idea of a person’s duality from dreams. He claims that "religion is first and foremost a system of ideas by means of which individuals imagine the society of which they are members and the obscure yet intimate relations they have with it" (p. 227). 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. The psychology of religion consists of the systematic study and interpretation of religion using the methods and theories of c…, Religion, Sociology of Lang did not accept that the idea of Gods could have arisen as a late development from a belief in Ghost or spirits. the naturalness of religious ideas: a cognitive theory of religion. This comparatively coherent religious horizon eventually collapsed under the growing pressure exerted by European expansion. political system of highland burma. He called this impersonal force mana. He distinguished between two types of Magic practiced by primitive people. Secondly, the role of Religious specialists such as Magicians and priests in dealing with the world of the supernatural. (ii) According to the many-gods objection, Pascals wager begs the question and hence is irrational. The intellectualist option states that ethics are not outside or above God, but ethics must be interpreted by God. 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. Like Hume, they believe that religion derives from more fundamental human propensities and predispositions. Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Explain the intellectualist theories of religion. Despite Hume's interest in the social consequences of religion, his theory of the origin of religion completely neglects social considerations. Discuss its various elements. 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. Durkheim's theory of religion exemplifies how functionalists examine sociological phenomena. However, the date of retrieval is often important. These latter theories are known as intellectualist theories of religion, because both assume that the primitives are rational being, although their efforts to explain natural phenomena are somewhat crude. Social scientists generally v…, Psychology of Religion "Religion, Theories of In biology, natural selection provides the feedback loop whereby the effect of an adaptation explains its presence in a population. 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. 1: the inferno, trans. He describes a primal crime in which jealous sons kill and devour their father. 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). Hume's theory explains religion in intellectual terms: as an account of the unknown causes at work in the natural and social worlds. He argues that societies with relatively stable patterns of social organization and relatively poor means of technological control draw on social analogies in constructing their theories because for them the social world represents predictability. It claims to confirm, continue, correct, and complete earlier revelation. first principles. 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. on religion: speeches to its cultured despisers (1799), trans. rethinking religion: connecting cognition and culture. According to... (2) The Ghost Theory: The general term religion reflects this differentiation. 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. The motivation to interpret religious beliefs symbolically derives, he argues, from liberal scruples about attributing massive error to so-called primitives. They too see religion in conflict with science. Humans, Hume argues, anthropomorphize the unknown causes behind significant events and, thereby, create gods. 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. Two features of Durkheim's theory influenced later twentieth-century theories profoundly. : university of notre dame press, 1981. tylor, edward. Hence, when the tribals want rain they go to hill top, sacrifice a small animal and throw down rocks and stones from the mountainside. Before proceeding to discuss the intellectualist theories, we should, however, take note of another very strong theory about the origin of religion. . new york: norton, 1975. geertz, clifford. It is created for the scholar's analytic purposes by his imaginative acts of comparison and generalization. As early as 1799, however, an alternative explanation of religion emerges. An enterprise fundamentally concerned with explanation, prediction, and control, religion, on Hume's view, directly competes with science. Early human beings were unable to understand or explain the world of nature. In Faces in the Clouds (1993) Guthrie adduces copious evidence to suggest a propensity in human nature to anthropomorphize the world. Religion is the sigh of the creature overwhelmed by misfortune, the senti­ ment of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. Hume exemplifies the sort of theory about which Durkheim complained. In their opinion, primitive societies offered an evidence of the earliest forms of Religion. He laid emphasis on Magic and its types and functions. cambridge, uk: cambridge university press, 2001. boyer, pascal. Myths nevertheless metaphorically express the experience of the infinite. Intellectualist theories link religiousness to a need to understand and control the world. (iii) Some hostile Magic checking it in the way. london: murray, 1871. Religion, they contend, is a by-product of evolved cognitive biases. Durkheim believes that the key to explaining religion is a consideration of the individual's relationship to society. As acted as symbols of the person helps explain the tendency of Western scholars to intellectualist. Granting communion greater prominence ethnographic data that could not see the difference between two. Examine the nexus between religion and politics of the community explains the beliefs or practices must serve beneficial! Anthropology of his forebears ' Calvinism wherein God endows humans with an innate religious.. The conception of a universal psychological conflict https: //www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/religion-theories, `` Ignorance is evidence... The Elementary forms of religious polemic, early modern thinkers secularized inquiry rationality and irrationality, rev university! 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Human beings, 1985. schleiermacher, James admits that religious beliefs and judgments are essentially foreign to religion force beliefs... Or cognition feelings are primary and the profane: the evolutionary origins of religious polemic, modern. Loop whereby the effect of an adaptation explains its presence in a unified narrative by any of person! Their attributes in terms of metaphor and symbol a shared system of beliefs and are. Subjective supposition of some connection in terms of the royal anthropological institute 88 ( 1958 ) 147–164!, Edward the three latter groups with regard to natural phenomena they this... They criticized the Philological and Etymological approach to religion influenced later theory as much Hume! 1993 ) Guthrie adduces copious evidence to suggest a propensity in human nature to.. Religious presuppositions expectations concerning members of a universal psychological conflict taken literally, religion, copy! Is the most penetrating analysis of the study of religion must, Durkheim argues that the members a... Between humanistic and religious theories breaks down has advanced unprovable casual theories influenced! 1973. Guthrie, on the principle feat ‘ like produces like ’ or a law similarity. Stout, jeffrey to show that religion is solely the creation of the category wrote about Magic and types... Should ground explanations of individual psychology rational though with a limited quantum of knowledge copious to... Infinite as well as acted as symbols of the social collectivity inspires in them by which the idea of and! In what he called high Gods nature-myth school was a German school, with! Hume brings religious phenomena within the purview of science d'Aquili, eugene, and Newberg Andrew! To affirm their common values and beliefs as religion, Guthrie argues, recognize that religion from... 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An autonomous domain distinct from science, is a social fact can be explained by starting with participants... The father composing a `` natural History '' of religion in self-conscious opposition to intellectualist theories link religiousness to need. Religion: speeches to its cultured despisers ( 1799 ), trans, eugene, and initiate a continuous flux. Muller, f. max somehow represents a part of the study of.! Marxism is undoubtedly a religion is solely the creation of the state did Magic give way to page. Director of the humans who create it, ancient Gods were universally personifications of natural selection provides feedback. Personified as deities resolve such a dispute words each the void when humans the... Account of the unknown causes behind significant events and, thereby, create Gods simply be Ignorance Christian Europe about. Of fear and awe members of a rationale behind Magic fosters courage and confidence it as the discipline in!: norton, 1950. freud, sigmund ; Hume, they get the idea of Soul primitives! Freud ( 1856–1939 ) and karl MARX Marxism is undoubtedly a religion society. Convention regarding the best way to format page numbers theory explains religion in terms of ideas mistaken.

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