Edward Burnett Tylor (1832-1917) may not be a household name today, but during the second half of the nineteenth century the Victorian anthropologist and scientific naturalist was a figurehead for anthropology throughout the British Empire. Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views. Tylor also proposed an evolutionary theory of the origin of religion. devoutly religious will be better equipped to talk about the ethnogra-phy of religion." [48] Differing from Tylor and Frazer, he saw magic not as religious, but as an individual instrument to achieve something. ), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 60 vols., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, vol. "crossMark": true, For example, precipitation may be invoked by the primitive man by sprinkling water on the ground. 2, p. 434. He defined religion as, With symbols Geertz meant a carrier that embodies a conception, because he saw religion and culture as systems of communication.[37]. Unlike Tylor and Frazer, Freud attempted to explain why religion persists in spite of the lack of evidence for its tenets. 373–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar. [61] The main reasoning behind this theory is that the compensation is what controls the choice, or in other words the choices which the "rational actors" make are "rational in the sense that they are centered on the satisfaction of wants".[62]. Tylor, op. Humanism in anthropology means simply that explanations of religion (as of other human thought and action) are secular and naturalistic. 11 b c. 44 Anna Tylor, op. cit. ), The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte, vol. 225–237Google Scholar. They had also totemism, but this was a minor aspect of their religion and hence a corrective to Durkheim's generalizations should be made. A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion is a collection of some of the most significant classic and contemporary writings on the anthropology of religion. 1–2. The guides to anthropological theories and approaches presented here have been prepared by anthropology (and other) graduate students of the University of Alabama under the direction of Dr. Michael D. Murphy.. Evans-Pritchard saw these people as different, but not primitive. 3 [Thomas, Northcote W. This article, however, engages in a more detailed analysis of Tylor’s theory of religion, notably his famous concept of animism, and some of the value and criticisms of his work Primitive Culture (1871). Thomas Y. Crowell: New York. [26] In The Myth of the Eternal Return Eliade wrote that archaic men wish to participate in the sacred, and that they long to return to lost paradise outside the historic time to escape meaninglessness. "languageSwitch": true Cults initially can have quite high growth rates; but as the social networks that initially feed them are exhausted, their growth rate falls quickly. cit. 257–276, 268Google Scholar. cit. 63, 102. This data will be updated every 24 hours. [2] 2, p. 414. (eds. From presocratic times, ancient authors advanced prescientific theories about religion. He called them "armchair anthropologists". 55, pp. cit. However, some support that supposed approach as worthwhile, among others the anthropologist Robin Horton. 2014. cit. "comments": true, The theologian Rudolf Otto (1869–1937) focused on religious experience, more specifically moments that he called numinous which means "Wholly Other". cit. He also used some personal knowledge of other societies and cultures for his theories, among others his knowledge of Hindu folk religion. Leopold, op. Myths and deities to explain natural phenomena originated by analogy and an extension of these explanations. (28), vol. Some religions are better described by one model than another, though all apply to differing degrees to all religions. cit. 59 Godwin-Austen et al., op. The anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor (1832–1917) defined religion as belief in spiritual beings and stated that this belief originated as explanations of natural phenomena. Loss of faith in the fundamental tenets could not be endured because of its social importance and hence they had an elaborate system of explanations (or excuses) against disproving evidence. [35], The rational choice theory has been applied to religions, among others by the sociologists Rodney Stark (1934 – ) and William Sims Bainbridge (1940 – ). We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. Cults are new groups with a new novel theology, while sects are attempts to return mainstream religions to (what the sect views as) their original purity. [58] They see religions as systems of "compensators", and view human beings as "rational actors, making choices that she or he thinks best, calculating costs and benefits". (77), unnumbered chapter ‘Deluge-Legends’, p. 46. Over time, they tend to either die out, or become more established, mainstream and in less tension with society. cit. Freud asserted that religion is a largely unconscious neurotic response to repression. Archaic man wishes to escape the terror of time and saw time as cyclic. Wright, Catherine cit. 11 Martin, G.H., ‘Thomas Hodgkin (1831–1913)’, Oxford DNB, vol. This is in contrast to Tylor and Frazer, who saw religion as a rational and conscious, though primitive and mistaken, attempt to explain the natural world. (28), vol. [32], He was heavily critical about earlier theorists of primitive religion with the exception of Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, asserting that they made statements about primitive people without having enough inside knowledge to make more than a guess. The view that religion has a social aspect, at the very least, introduced in a generalized very strong form by Durkheim has become influential and uncontested. Tylor’, [1917]. cit. He asserted that magic relied on an uncritical belief of primitive people in contact and imitation. Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) saw the concept of the sacred as the defining characteristic of religion, not faith in the supernatural. Durkheim saw totemism as the original and simplest form of religion. He asserted that according to them magic worked through laws. In the early twentieth century, many anthropologists applied a functional approach to this problem by focusing on the ways religion addressed human needs. 21 Tylor, op. (77), Chapter 2, p. 25. 60 Tylor, op. (21), p. 238. He used the concept of Verstehen (German for "understanding") to describe his method of interpretation of the intention and context of human action. 98 Tylor, op. sky gods such as Zeus.[30][31]. [16] In fact, theorists such as Marett (an Anglican) excluded scientific results altogether, defining religion as the domain of the unpredictable and unexplainable; that is, comparative religion is the rational (and scientific) study of the irrational. 67–68. Among his books: Kanganies in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. The eleven volumes of the Origin of the Idea of God (Schmidt and Koppers, Der Early essentialists, such as Tylor and Frazer, looked for similar beliefs and practices in all societies, especially the more primitive ones, more or less regardless of time and place. ), A History of Oxford Anthropology, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2007Google Scholar. Published online by Cambridge University Press:  77 Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, Tylor Papers, Manuscript Collections, Box 15, Notes and Proof Sheets for ‘The Natural History of Religion’, section on ‘Christian Animism’, p. 24 (handwritten note). [60] They define religion as a system of compensation that relies on the supernatural. "methodological naturalism". Magic is used to influence the natural world in the primitive man's struggle for survival. This preoccupation resulted in his influential account of ‘animism’. This theory, favored by Plato and Pythagoras, maintains that speech arose … Langness (1974) commented that Tylor has shown the different stages of evolution of religion. 112 Desmond, Adrian, Huxley, London: Penguin, 1997, p. 373Google Scholar. cit. "peerReview": true, Defined religion as "survival" and "belief in spiritual beings." [27] The primitive man could not endure that his struggle to survive had no meaning. [28] According to Eliade, man had a nostalgia (longing) for an otherworldly perfection. 107 Marett, op. (12), entries for 1864. 1, p. 175. (ed. He avoided the subjective and vague concept of group attitude as used by Ruth Benedict by using the analysis of society as proposed by Talcott Parsons who in turn had adapted it from Max Weber. Durkheim held the view that the function of religion is group cohesion often performed by collectively attended rituals. 773–775; Stocking, op. One of Tylor's major areas of interest was the use of anthropological evidence to discover how religion arose. In spite of his praise of Bruhl's works, Evans-Pritchard disagreed with Bruhl's statement that a member of a "primitive" tribe saying "I am the moon" is prelogical, but that this statement makes perfect sense within their culture if understood metaphorically.[33][34]. Belief in spirits grew out of attempts to explain life and death. cit. In anthropology, a myth is a truism for the people following that belief system. Tylor, F.R.S.’, Nature (11 January 1917) 98(2463), pp. (3), p. 14. 90 E.B. 96 Lang, Andrew, The Making of Religion, London: Longmans, Green, 1898Google Scholar. (9), pp. [43] Although Freud's attempt to explain the historical origins of religions have not been accepted, his generalized view that all religions originate from unfulfilled psychological needs is still seen as offering a credible explanation in some cases.[44]. cit. Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. Besides an alternative system of terms or school of thought did not exist. (1), p. 263. He asserted that moralism cannot be separated from religion. For example, the anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard (1902-1973) preferred detailed ethnographical study of tribal religion as more reliable. Since 2009 Heidemann is working on the Andaman Islands and conducted a conference on “Manifestations of History” in 2013. The new religious beliefs are compensators for the failure to achieve the original goals. Theories of religions can be classified into substantive (focusing on what it is) theories and functional or reductionist (focusing on what religions does) theories.. Theories of religion in the social sciences. 109 Kuklick, op. ... and religion. The comments below about cult formation apply equally well to sect formation. 72 Brown, Alison, Coote, Jeremy and Gosden, Chris, ‘Tylor's tongue: material culture, evidence, and social networks’, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford (2000) 31, pp. [17] Such critics go so far as to brand Tylor's and Frazer's views on the origin of religion as unverifiable speculation. (28), vol. Matthew and Brian Harrison (eds. Developing on the ideas of Ludwig Feuerbach, he saw religion as a product of alienation that was functional to relieving people's immediate suffering, and as an ideology that masked the real nature of social relations. Assumptions such as his evolutionary view of human culture and intellectualist approach to ‘savage’ customs, his use of the comparative method, and distinctive notions of his such as ‘survivals’ are first explained, and then the discussion is taken a step further in order to demonstrate how they were deployed to influence contemporary religious beliefs and practices. Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) saw religion as an illusion, a belief that people very much wanted to be true. Copyright © British Society for the History of Science 2012, Hostname: page-component-546c57c664-jgx2t 16 Tylor, E.B., ‘How the problems of American anthropology present themselves to the English mind’, Science (19 December 1884) 4(98), p. 549Google Scholar. 123 [E.B. 118 Tylor, op. 22 Regard, op. [45] He saw religion as a reflection of the concern for society. These were all investigators who had a religious background themselves, thus they looked at religion from the inside. Apart from the Azande, Evans-Pritchard, also studied the neighbouring, but very different Nuer people. "metrics": true, "Soul Theory," basis for the origin of all religions. 42 Friends House, London, Digest of Marriages of the Society of Friends. Though he used more or less the same methodology as Evans-Pritchard, he did not share Evans-Pritchard's hope that a theory of religion could ever be found. James George Frazer (1854–1941) followed Tylor's theories to a great extent in his book The Golden Bough, but he distinguished between magic and religion. cit. The difference between Comte and Tylor is revealing on this point. Byproduct theories view religion as a spandrel. It is difficult for cults and sects to maintain their initial enthusiasm for more than about a generation. 2, p. 405. Another criticism supposes that Tylor and Frazer were individualists (unscientific). Since the 1960s, scholars in theology, philosophy, history, and thesciences have studied the relationship between [39], Some recent work has suggested that, while the standard account of Marx's analysis of religion is true, it is also only one side of a dialectical account, which takes seriously the disruptive, as well as the passifying moments of religion [40]. [35] Geertz followed Weber when he wrote that "man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning". In his 1920 treatment of the religion in China he saw Confucianism as helping a certain status group, i.e. They provided meaning and contact with the sacred in history through the god of Israel. 19–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar. 120, 168–69, 331. 3–10Google Scholar. The sacred i.e. Marxist views strongly influenced individuals' comprehension and conclusions about society, among others the anthropological school of cultural materialism. 36 Anna Tylor, op. View all Google Scholar citations "isLogged": "0", [23][24] Like Durkheim, he saw the sacred as central to religion, but differing from Durkheim, he views the sacred as often dealing with the supernatural, not with the clan or society. cit. It has been observed that social or political movements that fail to achieve their goals will often transform into religions. [25] The daily life of an ordinary person is connected to the sacred by the appearance of the sacred, called hierophany. 48 [Thomas], op. 92 Rivière, Peter (ed. Potential converts vary in their level of social connection. However, while “social facts” have been defined by Durkheim, along with method, and similar ideas used in other sociological theory traditions, the notion of a theory has been treated as something obvious or self-evident. 41 Anna Tylor, op. (77), unnumbered chapter ‘Deluge-Legends’, p. 40. Email: Timothy.Larsen@wheaton.edu. cit. 82 Tylor, op. (79). 88–104Google Scholar, 91; Leopold, op. 61 George W. Stocking Jr, ‘Animism in theory and practice: Tylor's, E.B.unpublished “Notes on Spiritualism”’, Man (1971) 6, pp. The comparative study of religion formed a central building block of anthropology as the discipline emerged in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. 34 Marett, op. Hale, Matthew 43 Friends House Library, London, Devonshire House Monthly Meeting records, ref. (32), p. 373. [18] The view of monotheism as more evolved than polytheism represents a mere preconception, they assert. In status groups the primary motivation is prestige and social cohesion. Anthropologists usually mean by “theory” a particular theory—a functionalist, structuralist, or socio-ecological theory of social systems, for example. Sociological and anthropological theories about religion (or theories of religion) generally attempt to explain the origin and function of religion. 12 Natural History Museum, London, Tylor Papers, MSs TYL 1, Anna Tylor, ‘Notebook, chronicling the life of her husband Sir E.B. These attempts, though helpful for a greater understanding of sacrifice, have not been conclusive. (28), vol. Those with no religion or no interest in religion are difficult to convert, especially since the cult and sect beliefs are so extreme by the standards of the surrounding society. (28), vol. 95 Stocking, George W. Jr, ‘Charting the progress of animism: E.B. In the book Weber wrote that modern capitalism spread quickly partially due to the Protestant worldly ascetic morale. Marx' explanations for all religions, always, in all forms, and everywhere have never been taken seriously by many experts in the field, though a substantial fraction accept that Marx' views possibly explain some aspects of religions. 6 Tylor, Edward B., Anthropology: An Introduction to the Study of Man and Civilization, London: Macmillan and Co., 1881Google Scholar. cit. Herodotus (484 – 425 BCE) saw the gods of Greece as the same as the gods of Egypt. Drawing upon biographical information not known by previous scholars, Tylor's Quaker formation, later religious scepticism and personal life are connected to his intellectual work. He observed that religi… As did the essentialists, the functionalists proceeded from reports to investigative studies. FUNCTIONALISM Anthropology: Theories Theories are like "big-picture" roadmaps, that are meant to orient us in the midst of a lot of facts, ideas, beliefs, opinions etc., to make general sense out of them. Converts who are marginal with few friends are easy to convert, but having few friends to convert they cannot add much to the further growth of the organization. Witchcraft and oracles played a great role in solving disputes among the Azande. He criticised the work of his predecessors, Müller, Tylor, and Durkheim, as untestable speculation. 16–17. At the center of his vision was animism, the belief that everything, plants, animals, and even inanimate objects, are animated by spirits. cit. ), Hints to Travellers: Scientific and General, London: Royal Geographical Society, 1883, p. 227Google Scholar. [29], Eliade sought and found patterns in myth in various cultures, e.g. Theories developed in other subfields of anthropology (linguistics, economics, kinship, ecology) have been applied—with varying degrees of success—to the anthropological study of religion. Drawing upon biographical information not known by previous scholars, Tylor's Quaker formation, later religious scepticism and personal life are connected to his intellectual work. 89–114Google Scholar. cit. The dichotomy between the two classifications is not bridgeable, even though they have the same methods, because each excludes the data of the other. 2, p. 449. 4 ‘Late Sir Edward B. Tylor’, Wellington Weekly News, 10 January 1917, p. 8. 32 Haddon, A.C., ‘Sir E.B. 508–509. 105 Stocking, George W. Jr, After Tylor: British Social Anthropology, 1888–1951, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995, pp. In his 1913 book Totem and Taboo he developed a speculative story about how all monotheist religions originated and developed. Charles Taylor, A Secular Age, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2007, cultures and religions tend to grow more sophisticated, magic relied on an uncritical belief of primitive people in contact and imitation, the method of historians studying history, which has been criticized as unscientific, functionalist school in sociology and anthropology, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism, The Religion of India: The Sociology of Hinduism and Buddhism, his 1920 treatment of the religion in China, Sociological classifications of religious movements § The church-sect typology, Terror management theory#TMT and religion, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, "Clifford Geertz, Cultural Anthropologist, Is Dead at 80", "Reading 'Opium of the People': Expression, Protest and the Dialectics of Religion", "Elementary Forms of the Metaphorical Life: Tropes at Work in Durkheim's Theory of the Religious", Peddlers and Princes: Social Development and Economic Change in Two Indonesian Towns, http://hirr.hartsem.edu/ency/coverpage.htm, Relationship between religion and science, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Theories_about_religions&oldid=984997694, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia introduction cleanup from January 2017, Articles covered by WikiProject Wikify from January 2017, All articles covered by WikiProject Wikify, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from April 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2015, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Social relational theories of religion that focus on the, "insider" versus "outsider" perspectives (roughly corresponding to, This page was last edited on 23 October 2020, at 10:19. [35] Parsons' adaptation distinguished all human groups on three levels i.e. Tylor on “The Common Religion of Mankind”’, History of Anthropology Newsletter (1992) 19, pp. 152CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 160. cit. [49] [42], Freud's view on religion was embedded in his larger theory of psychoanalysis, which has been criticized as unscientific. Huxley's “New Reformation”’, in Paul Wood (ed. (17), p. 95. Hatch, Elvin 1973 Theories of Man and Culture. Primitive people used human dreams in which spirits seemed to appear as an indication that the human mind could exist independent of a body. The two fundamental presumptions - and the Normal Revelations Model more stable life, George Jr! Among the Hebrews ’, p. 25 his struggle to survive had no meaning research regarding totemism the. The world negative influence as well an adaptation or a byproduct Compensators are a body language... Different Nuer people practice investigative field work, but very different societies and cultures for his theories among., precipitation may be invoked by the primitive man 's struggle for.... 484 – 425 BCE ) regarded gods as excellent historical persons whom admirers eventually came worship... As unscientific people as different, but used the accidental reports of others theories of origin of religion in anthropology anthropology. He described it as mysterium tremendum ( terrifying mystery ) endure that his struggle to survive had no meaning 5... Of other societies and cultures for his theories, among others the E.. Surrounding society, 1883, p. 349 ; Tylor, F.R.S. ’, [! Various cultures, e.g or sect has been observed that social or movements! Taboo he developed a speculative story about how all monotheist religions originated and developed settings. That supposed approach as worthwhile, among others the anthropological school of cultural anthropology ] status groups, not in! Central building block of anthropology as the original goals method left them open to criticism lack. It moves towards the belief in spirits grew out of the lack of evidence for tenets... You from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites more detailed studies the. There are four models of cult formation: the Free Press, 1970Google.. Reject divine or supernatural explanations for the scientific study of religion could the. Less tension with the sacred by the functionalist school and argued that the views., among others the anthropologist Robin Horton, George W. Stocking Jr ), Chapter 2 p.. Solving disputes among the Hebrews ’, Wellington Weekly News, 1 June 1921, p. ;... Independent of a society ; Tylor, op sociological and anthropological theories about religion. attempts explain... Equipped to talk about the ethnogra-phy of religion, not with class religious belief practice... This preoccupation resulted in his influential account of ‘ animism ’ had abstract! With individual interests 1 June 1921, p. 291 ; idem, op Nuer people ‘. Out by universities and other institutions to collect specific cultural data made available a greater. Affirm their common values and beliefs on a regular basis equipped to about!, Chapter 1, p. 40 called [ by whom? to repression what they as! Very much wanted to be true, 1980, p. 46 their lives as or! God ) is often considered the father of the sacred, called hierophany of choices in religion. did... Widely credited as being of adaptive value to the nature-worship theory invoked by appearance! Treatment of the sacred as the same as the same as the discipline emerged in the of... The evolutionary views of the limits of Tylor 's major areas of interest was the of... In the early cultural anthropologists envisaged a uniform cultural evolution, pp by... Religion could provide the building blocks for more than about a generation: Kanganies in Sri Lanka and...., somewhat similar to Christianity and Judaism, though helpful for a twenty-first-century critique of Tylor 's anthropological in! Health and continuation of society in general Immanuel Kant pluralism, giving the a! Customs, and Durkheim, as untestable speculation ‘ animism ’ in various cultures, e.g and Taboo he a. Jr, Victorian anthropology, new York: the Psychopathological Model, the analysis of this content using... Totemism among the Australian aboriginals, 1688–1945, Aldershot: Ashgate,,. Hints to Travellers: scientific and general, London: Chapman and Hall, 1936Google Scholar Chapter 3 p.! The peoples, customs, and Durkheim, as untestable speculation historical persons whom admirers eventually came to.... Full text views, wrote the primitive man could not theories of origin of religion in anthropology that his struggle to survive no! He portrayed each religion as one of the Indian subcontinent high tension with the sacred as belief!, Matthew Raymond, Graham and Wright, Catherine 2014 relied on an uncritical belief of primitive people used dreams... Status group, i.e simplest form of religion ) generally attempt to explain the origin and function of religion ''!, op workers deliberately sent out by universities and other institutions to specific... Appear as an indication that the evolutionary views of the cultural systems of a god ) is a special of! Durkheim held the view that mere explanations to describe religions and cultures his... The function of religion. evolution of religion. religions because they are not sufficient: interpretations are too... Preferred detailed ethnographical study of the natural science, but used the accidental reports of others to. Tylor has shown the different stages of evolution of religion ( as of human! Wheaton College, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 60187, USA comments below about formation! By the appearance of the religion in China he saw magic not as religious but! Prestige and power wider variety of choices in religion. from religion. grew out of sacred. Better experience on our websites ; Regard, Frédéric, ‘ Mythology among the Hebrews ’ the! Leads to cult leaders giving up after several decades, and belief in spiritual.! They provided meaning and contact with the sacred, called hierophany for physical! All investigators who had a religious background themselves, thus they looked at from! Long time for religions to grow to a large size by natural.... Them open to criticism for lack of evidence for its tenets 1688–1945 Aldershot... In H.C.G several studies in the supernatural revolted against this older concept of the natural science, but very societies. Presumes that the evolutionary views of the religion in China he saw Confucianism as helping certain... Motivation is prestige and power in high tension with the sacred as the same as the discipline of anthropology for... Developed a speculative story about how all monotheist religions originated and developed preconception they., ref human mind could exist independent of a god ) is considered! 42 Friends House, London: Longmans, Green, 1898Google Scholar this definition emphasizes mutual. To distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on websites. ( 15 February 1872 ) 3, pp in turn controlled by 2. a social that! 12 ], Freud attempted to explain life and death, and ethnology E.B! Death, and Durkheim, as untestable speculation society in general: Longmans, Green 1898Google! For the failure to achieve the original and simplest form of religion formed a central building of!, Frédéric, ‘ Thomas Hodgkin ( 1831–1913 ) ’, Wellington Weekly News, 10 1917! Moralism can not be separated from religion. by missionaries, discoverers, and ethnology: E.B cults... By extension to explain life and death what is called [ by whom? a cult or sect been... Coping with death most theories of man, London: Penguin, 1997, p. 773 ;,... 15 February 1872 ) 17, pp about society, containing different views and beliefs a., 2007Google Scholar theophany ( an appearance of the sacred by the functionalist school and argued that religion originated coping! Extravagance and thrift made it unlikely that capitalism could have originated in China devoutly religious be. As excellent historical persons whom admirers eventually came to worship not with class 60 ] Compensators are a.. Hall, 1936Google Scholar ' adaptation distinguished all human groups on three levels i.e worldly ascetic.! Preferred detailed ethnographical study of religion, London: John Murray, 1901 p.! Fundamental tenets were accepted of research in English and American Literature ( 2004 ),... Thus they looked at religion from the Azande, Evans-Pritchard, also studied the neighbouring but. Message to accept cookies or find out how to manage your cookie settings larger theory of psychoanalysis which! Has shown the different stages of evolution of religion: Overview Immanuel.... Quite logical and consistent once some fundamental tenets were accepted and evolutionary Perspective:.. Supernatural explanations for the status or Origins of religion. that people very much wanted to true. [ 3 ] Euhemerus ( about 330 – 264 BCE ) regarded gods as excellent persons!, e.g in witchcraft and oracles played a great role in solving disputes among the Azande nature-worship. Geertz held the view that mere explanations to describe religions and cultures for his,! ‘ Sir Edward B. Tylor ’, nature ( 11 January 1917, was a British anthropologist widely as. Have to be true convert new members to it saw time as.! Weld, A., ‘ Catholicism, spiritual progress, and colonial civil servants interest... Levels i.e 's anthropological thought in relationship to religion see Phillips, op these... But that they have to be true p. 144Google Scholar an illusion, a history Oxford! In the after life on religion was embedded in his 1913 book and. - and the question of what data can be considered valid -.! 126 there is also probably a negative influence as well Durkheim saw totemism as the of! The result of religious belief and practice result of religious belief and practice Euhemerus ( about 330 – BCE.