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Sacred Realms

Readings in the Anthropology of Religion

Second Edition

Edited by Richard Warms, James Garber, and R. Jon McGee

Publication Date - 25 March 2008

ISBN: 9780195341324

544 pages

In Stock

This comprehensive and engaging introduction to the anthropology of religion offers a rich and balanced collection of classic and recent readings by authors from diverse ethnic and national backgrounds.


This comprehensive and engaging introduction to the anthropology of religion brings together a rich and balanced collection of classic and contemporary readings. Ideal for courses in the anthropology of religion or comparative religion, this exceptional anthology not only gives students the tools to analyze and comprehend religion but also enables them to consider religion's major role in contemporary world affairs.
Organized topically, Sacred Realms: Readings in the Anthropology of Religion, Second Edition, covers twelve major areas in faith, religion, and belief. Demonstrating the breadth and variety of human religious experience, the essays are written by authors from diverse ethnic and national backgrounds and include vivid ethnographic examples drawn from field studies around the world. The readings range from classic contributions by Bronislaw Malinowski, Horace Miner, and Anthony F. C. Wallace to more recent selections including one on the Rajneeshee by Charles Lindholm and articles on Sufism, witches, and American raves. The volume concludes with a unique section by the editors that describes the basic facets of five of the world's most influential religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The editors also provide helpful background material throughout; their general introduction encourages students to approach religion as an objective human experience rather than from the perspective of their own upbringings, while overviews to each of the text's six parts place subjects in context and highlight key issues. Essay introductions identify the author's perspective, the article's major points, and the questions the essay raises.
New to the second edition of Sacred Realms is a section on the intersection of religion and politics, which includes a classic article by Raymond Firth as well as recent articles on issues in Korea and the Middle East. This edition also features a world map at the front of the book--referencing locations in each essay, by number--and a glossary of terms at the end of the book. An Instructor's Manual on CD is available to adopters.

Previous Publication Date(s)

January 2004

Table of Contents

    *=New to this edition
    Introduction: What Is Religion?
    1. The Origins of Religion
    James McClenon, How Religion Began: Human Evolution and the Origin of Religion (2002)
    * John M. Watanabe and Barbara B. Smuts, Explaining Religion Without Explaining It Away: Trust, Truth, and the Evolution of Cooperation in Roy A. Rappaport's "The Obvious Aspects of Ritual" (1999)
    Bronislaw Malinowski, Rational Mastery by Man of His Surroundings (1925)
    2. Religion and Society
    * Charles Lindholm, Culture, Charisma, and Consciousness: The Case of the Rajneeshee (2002)
    Aihwa Ong, The Production of Possession: Spirits and the Multinational Corporation in Malaysia (1988)
    Hikaru Suzuki, Japanese Death Rituals in Transit: From Household Ancestors to Beloved Antecedents (1998)
    3. Religion and the Environment
    J. Stephen Lansing, Balinese "Water Temples" and the Management of Irrigation (1987)
    * Marvin Harris, The Cultural Ecology of India's Sacred Cattle (1966)
    Sandra E. Greene, Sacred Terrain: Religion, Politics, and Place in the History of Anloga (Ghana) (1997)
    4. Supernatural Beings and Powers
    Mahipal Bhuriya, Tribal Religion in India: A Case Study of the Bhils (1986)
    Aubrey L. Parke, The Qawa Incident in 1968 and Other Cases of "Spirit Possession": Religious Syncretism in Fiji (1995)
    Fernando Cervantes, The Devil and the Saints in the Conquest of Mexico (1994)
    * Arthur Saniotis, Tales of Mastery: Spirit Familiar in Sufis' Religious Imagination (2004)
    5. Special Roles in Religion: Shamans, Prophets, and Priests
    Laurel Kendall, Korean Shamans and the Spirits of Capitalism (1996)
    Julie Cruikshank, Claiming Legitimacy: Prophecy Narratives from Northern Aboriginal Women (1994)
    * Andrew Apter, The Embodiment of Paradox: Yoruba Kingship and Female Power (1991)
    6. Ritual and Ceremony
    Victor W. Turner, Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites de Passage (1964)
    Phillips Stevens, Jr., Play and Liminality in Rites of Passage: From Elder to Ancestor in West Africa (1991)
    Lori Leonard, Female Circumcision in Southern Chad: Origins, Meaning, and Current Practice (1996)
    George Gmelch, Baseball Magic (2002)
    Horace Miner, Body Ritual Among the Nacirema (1956)
    7. Altered States
    Wade Davis, Hallucinogenic Plants and Their Use in Traditional Societies (1985)
    John R. Baker, The Old Woman and Her Gifts: Pharmacological Bases of the Chumash Use of Datura (1994)
    J. D. Lewis-Williams, Cognitive and Optical Illusions in San Rock Art Research (1986)
    Scott R. Hutson, The Rave: Spiritual Healing in Modern Western Subcultures (2000)
    Elaine J. Lawless, "The Night I Got the Holy Ghost . . .": Holy Ghost Narratives and the Pentecostal Conversion Process (1988)
    8. Death and Funerals
    Richard T. Gill, Whatever Happened to the American Way of Death? (1996)
    Beth A. Conklin, "Thus Are Our Bodies, Thus Was Our Custom": Mortuary Cannibalism in an Amazonian Society (1995)
    Audrey Shalinsky and Anthony Glascock, Killing Infants and the Aged in Nonindustrial Societies: Removing the Liminal (1988)
    Dong Sull Choi, Origins and Realities of Suttee in Hinduism (2002)
    9. Healing
    Wolf Roder, Magic, Medicine, and Metaphysics in Nigeria (1991)
    Madelyn Krassner, Effective Features of Therapy from the Healer's Perspective: A Study of Curanderismo (1986)
    * Jacob R. Hickman, "Is it the Spirit or the Body"?: Syncretism of Health Beliefs Among Hmong Immigrants to Alaska (2007)
    Ineke M. Lazar, Culture-Bound Illnesses in a Samoan Migrant Community (1985)
    10. Bewitching
    Ronald C. Johnson, Parallels between Recollections of Repressed Childhood Sex Abuse, Kidnappings by Space Aliens, and the 1692 Salem Witch Hunts (1994)
    Joseph Jay Tobin and Joan Friedman, Spirits, Shamans, and Nightmare Death: Survivor Stress in a Hmong Refugee (1983)
    Peter Wogan, Magical Literacy: Encountering a Witch's Book in Ecuador (1988)
    11. Religion and Politics
    * Raymond Firth, Spiritual Aroma: Religion and Politics (1981)
    * Kwang-Ok-Kim, Rituals of Resistance: The Manipulation of Shamanism in Contemporary Korea (1994)
    * Mahmood Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: A Political Perspective on Culture and Terrorism (2002)
    12. New Religious Movements
    Anthony F. C. Wallace, Revitalization Movements (1956)
    Allen Scarboro and Philip Andrew Luck, The Goddess and Power: Witchcraft and Religion in America (1997)
    Mark Juergensmeyer, Christian Violence in America (1998)
    Raymond L. M. Lee, Taipucam in Malaysia: Ecstasy and Identity in a Tamil Hindu Festival (1989)
    W. Paul Williamson and Howard R. Pollio, The Phenomenology of Religious Serpent Handling: A Rationale and Thematic Study of Extemporaneous Sermons (1999)
    Simon Dein, Lubavitch: A Contemporary Messianic Movement (1997)
    13. Hinduism
    The Historical Development of Hinduism
    The Sacred Literature of Hinduism
    Varna: The Caste System
    Varieties of Hindu Religious Practice
    Veneration of Cattle
    Hinduism and the Modern World
    14. Buddhism
    The Life of Siddhartha Gautama (563-483 B.C.E.)
    Buddha's Teachings
    The Development and Spread of Buddhism
    Divisions of Buddhism
    Relics, Pilgrimages, and Holy Days
    Contemporary Buddhism
    15. Judaism
    Sacred Literature
    Historical Background
    Kabbalah and Hasidism
    The Holocaust
    Contemporary Judaism: Sacred Practices
    Religious Festivals
    Dietary and Religious Practices
    Divisions within Judaism
    Jews in the Modern World
    16. Christianity
    Historical Background
    The Early Christian Movement
    Divisions in Early Christianity
    Medieval Christianity: Division between Eastern and Western Churches
    Reformation and Response
    Sacred Literature
    Christian Ritual
    Christian Holidays
    Christianity Today
    New Denominations and Christian Fundamentalism in America
    17. Islam
    The Life of Muhammad
    Islamic Expansion
    Muslim Beliefs and Practices
    Sunnah and the Hadiths
    Shiite and Sunni in Islam
    Other Variations: Black Muslims
    Islam in the Past One Hundred Years