Rituals and Religious Events

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Rituals and Religious Events ANT 351 Anthropology of Religion Magic and Ritual Kathryn Grant 10/8/2011 Rituals and Religious Events In all cultures, there are certain events that have become so integrated into society that people tend to forget that they are ritualistic in nature. Whether they are religious or culturally based, rituals are commonplace in our everyday lives. Geertz introduced three different theoretical perspectives including: psychological, functional and anthropological. (Moro, 2010) These perspectives help us understand where our systems stem from and why people celebrate certain events in their lives. As well as Geertz, Turner introduced the liminal state which can help people better understand the rituals and rites of passage that occur in our everyday lives. They psychological aspect of our rituals has been accepted by many people including the famous psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. “Religious practices can be usefully interpreted as expressions of unconscious psychological forces”. (Moro, 2010) Humans have the inherent need to explain the meaning of their own existence. People attend religious services every Sunday or pray at particular parts of the day because it’s their way of getting closer to the supernatural. It makes them feel better because it gives them a sense of purpose and gives them a sense of unity with others that share the same beliefs. “Confidence theories also begin with a notion of man’s inward sense of weakness, and especially of his fears—of disease, of death, of ill fortune of all kinds—and they see religious practices as designed to quiet such fears, either by explaining them away, as in doctrines of the afterlife, or by claiming to link the individual to external sources of strength, as in prayer.” (Moro, 2010) Religion and rituals also are very functional aspects of
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