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Anthropology examines human variation in terms of their bodies and attitudes, while theology seeks to extrapolate current knowledge and ideas in society. As a result, anthropology of religion identifies the differences that exist within different societal beliefs. Significantly, anthropology attempts to understand religion by the creation of a paradigm, the discovery of instruments that operate within it, and the clarification of phenomena (Eller, 2014). As a result, this article addresses the topics that anthropologists study of religion.
Symbolism is a material studied in religion by anthropologists. This is a vital aspect of the religious practice as mostly they tend to represent the community gods. Most of the symbols are usually physical objects, but both oral and written documentations additionally plays a significant role in religion (Stein & Stein, 2015). The symbols represent certain beliefs of the society, thus, act as a unifying factor in the culture. Some of the symbols include idols, monuments, Christian cross, and sacred sites.
Since routines are customized and tailored to the community, they indicate some performed features of the society. Moreover, anthropology can trace the foundations of the common behaviors including gestures (Eller, 2014).
These are individuals that tend to have a wider knowledge of the religion than other members of the society. According to anthropologists, these personnel tends to secure various religious tasks such as curing of different diseases, perform certain rituals, preventing bad omens, making rain, and facilitating fertility (Eller, 2014).
Anthropology plays a significant role in the society as it tries to explain the existence of different religion among distinct communities. Additionally, it recognizes the use of symbols within the human sphere to represent a supernatural being or a sacred place, thus, is a source of unification among the individuals with a similar belief. Moreover, it indicates that religion is even more of control and efficiency as their exist specialist such as priests that are manifested with certain task in the society. Significantly, different communities tend to have distinct rituals that relates to their culture, thus, anthropology plays a significant role in explaining existence of religion.
Eller, J. D. (2014). Introducing anthropology of religion: culture to the ultimate. Routledge.
Stein, R. L., & Stein, P. (2015). Anthropology of religion, magic, and witchcraft. Routledge.
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