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Ch 24: Studying Religion in Anthropology: Help and Review

About This Chapter

The Studying religion in Anthropology chapter of this Intro to Anthropology Help and Review course is the simplest way to master an understanding of religion as it relates to anthropology. This chapter uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long, plus lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure students learn the essentials of religion in the context of anthropology.

Who's it for?

Anyone who needs help learning or mastering introductory anthropology material will benefit from taking this course. There is no faster or easier way to learn introductory anthropology. Among those who would benefit are:

  • Students who have fallen behind in understanding the key concepts related to religion
  • Students who struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
  • Students who prefer multiple ways of learning social science (visual or auditory)
  • Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
  • Students who need an efficient way to learn about religion in anthropology
  • Students who struggle to understand their teachers
  • Students who attend schools without extra social science learning resources

How it works:

  • Find videos in our course that cover what you need to learn or review.
  • Press play and watch the video lesson.
  • Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
  • Verify you're ready by completing the Studying Religion in Anthropology chapter exam.

Why it works:

  • Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Use the Studying Religion in Anthropology chapter exam to be prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any religion question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.

Students will review:

This chapter helps students review the concepts in a religion unit of a standard introductory anthropology course. Topics covered include:

  • Religion's role in society
  • Theories on the origins of religion
  • Religion's contributions to cultural change
  • The early Mother Goddess and mystery cults
  • Greek myth and religion
  • Rites of passage
  • Monotheism and nontheism
  • Geography of religion

43 Lessons in Chapter 24: Studying Religion in Anthropology: Help and Review
What Is Religion? - Definition & Role in Society

1. What Is Religion? - Definition & Role in Society

This lesson will focus on the traits of religion. Using the works of Tillich and Noss, it will highlight religion's belief in the supernatural, its inclusion of a moral code, and its use of prescribed ritual acts.

Religion: Key Concepts and Definitions

2. Religion: Key Concepts and Definitions

Sociologists strive to study every aspect of religion in an objective way. In this lesson, we define religion and identify key concepts that are found in religion. We also discuss the difference between churches, sects, and cults.

Theories on the Origins of Religion: Overview

3. Theories on the Origins of Religion: Overview

This lesson will explore the many theories on the origins of religion. In doing so, it will highlight the works of Kant, Muller, Frazer, Marx and Freud. It will also explain animism and nature worship.

Primal Religions: Types & Practices

4. Primal Religions: Types & Practices

This lesson will explore the many traits of the primal religions of past and present. In doing so, it will highlight animism, totemism and the use of shamans in the primal religions of the world.

How Religion Developed in the Stone Age and Bronze Age

5. How Religion Developed in the Stone Age and Bronze Age

Have you ever wondered exactly how religion developed in the ancient world? Check out this lesson to see how the impact of cities, writing and invasion upon religion, the ascent of the sky father and the descent of the mother goddess contributed to the development of religion.

Wallace's Typology of Religions

6. Wallace's Typology of Religions

Not all religions in history have developed around the worship of one god. This lesson highlights the connection between the structure of a society and its religions and how belief in the supernatural has been expressed by different cultures.

How Religion Contributes to Cultural Change

7. How Religion Contributes to Cultural Change

Religions have the power to dramatically change the culture around them and the people of a community. In this lesson, we'll look at three major examples of how history has been shaped by religion.

Mystery Cults and the Early Mother Goddess

8. Mystery Cults and the Early Mother Goddess

What kind of problems do we encounter when talking about ancient religions? What are the Mother Goddess figures, and where do they pop up throughout history? Watch this lesson to learn about one of the earliest forms of religious worship.

Religions of Sumer and Akkad: Definition & History

9. Religions of Sumer and Akkad: Definition & History

This lesson will explore the religion of ancient Sumer and its Akkadian empire. In doing this, it will highlight the Sumerian pantheon, their ziggurats, and their belief in the afterlife.

What Are the Myths of Babylon? - Definition & Significance

10. What Are the Myths of Babylon? - Definition & Significance

This lesson will explore the creation myth of ancient Babylon as compiled in the Enuma Elish. In doing this, it will highlight the Babylonian belief in Marduk as the supreme being and the creation of humans to serve him.

The Epic of Gilgamesh

11. The Epic of Gilgamesh

Witness the Epic of Gilgamesh, a story of adventure, love and friendship. This long poem will help us examine the hallmarks of civilization for a Sumerian and the importance of dreams. We'll also cover the Sumerian contributions to the epic form of literature.

Greek Myth and Religion

12. Greek Myth and Religion

This lecture examines the troubles of generalizing Greek religion, before doing just that. It lists the major Olympian gods and their roles. It then explores the function of heroes in Greek religion. Next, the relationship between gods and men is laid out. Finally, it explores aspects of Greek myth that reemerge in Christianity.

The Odyssey: Greek Epic

13. The Odyssey: Greek Epic

This lecture provides a rough outline of the exploits of Odysseus in Homer's epic poem ''The Odyssey''. You'll learn plot details about this epic poem, in addition to hearing about how this important tale relates to Greek culture and literary works throughout history.

Roman Myths and Religion

14. Roman Myths and Religion

This lesson compares Roman gods to their Greek predecessors and enumerates the similarities and differences between Greek and Roman religion. Finally, Roman religion's relationship with mystery cults, especially Christianity, is briefly explored.

Gods of the Home: Primal Roman Religious Practices

15. Gods of the Home: Primal Roman Religious Practices

This lesson will explore the religions of early Rome. In doing this, it will highlight the Roman deities, Janus and Vesta. It will also explain the concept of numina, and the importance of Roman Lares and Penates.

The Religions of Meso-America

16. The Religions of Meso-America

This lesson will explore the bygone religions of Meso-America, specifically the Mayan and Aztec belief systems. In doing this, it will highlight their belief in animism, their sacred calendars, and the use of human sacrifice as a means of worship.

Rituals & Rites of Passage in Society

17. Rituals & Rites of Passage in Society

Anthropologists can learn a lot about a culture by understanding the rituals that are practiced by a community. We'll look at examples, such as a vision quest and a Las Vegas wedding, to consider this topic.

The Meso-American Religious Rites of Passage

18. The Meso-American Religious Rites of Passage

This lesson will explain the Mesoamerican rites of passage. In doing this, it will explore the ancient cultures and ceremonial practices of the Mayan and Aztec people of Mexico and Central America.

Monotheism: Islam, Judaism & Christianity

19. Monotheism: Islam, Judaism & Christianity

In this lesson, we define monotheism and identify three significant monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We also discuss the ideology of each of these three religions.

Nontheism: Hinduism, Buddhism & Confucianism

20. Nontheism: Hinduism, Buddhism & Confucianism

Not all religions focus on the belief (or disbelief) in a particular deity. In this lesson, we define nontheism and discuss the ideologies of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

Animism & Shamanism: Definitions, Worldviews & Ideologies

21. Animism & Shamanism: Definitions, Worldviews & Ideologies

In this lesson, we look at the basics of animism and shamanism and why these categories can be controversial. You'll imagine the conversations among anthropologists as they aim to better understand these beliefs.

Geography of Religion: Political & Social Impacts

22. Geography of Religion: Political & Social Impacts

In this lesson, you'll consider why geographers take an interest in the religions of people around the world. We'll also discuss how conflicts arise between groups with different beliefs and experiences.

Monastery: Definition and Types

23. Monastery: Definition and Types

Learn what a monastery is and what it does in various religions throughout the world. When you're finished, take the quiz and see what you've learned.

Onondaga Tribe: History & Explanation

24. Onondaga Tribe: History & Explanation

Who are the Onondaga? In this lesson, we will learn about this Native American tribe from their beginnings as hunter-gatherers to their important role in the creation of the Iroquois nation.

Sky Father: Definition & Concept

25. Sky Father: Definition & Concept

In this lesson we explore the topic of sky fathers, an cross-religion term encompassing heavenly deities who are often the most powerful in their respective religion.

Sky God: Names & Mythology

26. Sky God: Names & Mythology

Explore the myths and legends about the gods who ruled the sky according to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and the Native Americans. Learn of specific gods and goddess and their stories.

Agnosticism: Definition & Types

27. Agnosticism: Definition & Types

This lesson explores the definition and ideas of agnosticism as well as the specific sub-types. What does it mean to be an agnostic? How can other belief systems interact with agnosticism?

Atheism: Definition & Overview

28. Atheism: Definition & Overview

This article is an exploration and definition of atheism and its constituent pieces. What is atheism? Who are atheists? How does society view those who are atheist?

Monotheism: Definition, Origin & History

29. Monotheism: Definition, Origin & History

The worship of a single god is familiar to many of us. This lesson examines that belief through examples of both old and new religions, including several of their component branches.

Polytheism: Definition, Origins & Examples

30. Polytheism: Definition, Origins & Examples

This lesson offers a brief look into the definition, origin, and modern views of polytheistic beliefs. How have they evolved? Are there currently any still in existence? Read on to find out, and then take a quiz.

Religious Organization: Definition & Types

31. Religious Organization: Definition & Types

This lesson covers the types of religious organization and presents examples of each. The staggering number of religious organizations prevents great detail from being put into any example; this lesson is intended as a refresher or a starting point for interested students.

Ritualism in Sociology: Bureaucratic and Other Types

32. Ritualism in Sociology: Bureaucratic and Other Types

In this lesson, we will explore ritualism and how many people choose to reject cultural goals but still take part in the institutionalized ways of achieving them.

Sect in Religion: Definition & Overview

33. Sect in Religion: Definition & Overview

With such a variety of religious views in the world, what characteristics do sects share in common? We will look at what differentiates a sect from the larger religious tradition, and why members of a sect separate themselves in this way.

Secular Society: Definition & Overview

34. Secular Society: Definition & Overview

In almost any society there exists religious ideas and political ideas. Some societies choose to link religion and politics, while others have chosen to separate the two authorities. This lesson discusses what a secular society is, and what provisions it makes for both the government and organized religion.

Secularization of Society: Definition & Theory

35. Secularization of Society: Definition & Theory

Secularization has played a significant role in shaping the state of modern societies and cultures. Through this lesson, you will learn what defines the secularization process and gain some insight into the various ways in which it is explored by theorists.

What Is a Cult? - Definition, Characteristics & Behavior

36. What Is a Cult? - Definition, Characteristics & Behavior

When is a following or group of believers considered a cult? In this lesson, we will review the many ways in which this term is used as well as behaviors that are associated with it.

What Is Buddhism? - Beliefs & History

37. What Is Buddhism? - Beliefs & History

Buddhism is the fourth largest world religion with an estimated 350 million followers spanning the globe. It's long history has been impacted the leaders and cultures of various regions as it spread. Let's examine the history and beliefs of Buddhism as it grew to the large following it has today.

What Is Hinduism? - Definition & History

38. What Is Hinduism? - Definition & History

In this video, we'll explore the definition of Hinduism and its history and beliefs. We'll also learn about Hindu gods and goddesses, ancient sacred texts and laws.

What Is Liberation Theology? - Definition & Overview

39. What Is Liberation Theology? - Definition & Overview

This lesson discusses liberation theology as a form of activism and a sampling of modern activist organizations. We discuss the history of the movement, along with several of the movement's key predecessors, who are viewed as honorary members today.

What Is Parapsychology? - Definition & History

40. What Is Parapsychology? - Definition & History

Parapsychology has a fascinating, entertaining, and controversial history. Through this lesson, you will learn what defines the study of parapsychology and explore its evolution from the late 19th century to the present.

What Is Religious Belief? - Definition & Systems

41. What Is Religious Belief? - Definition & Systems

Is there a Heaven? Where did people come from? These questions and more have been answered through the religious beliefs of every human civilization throughout history.

Shaman: Definition & Talents

42. Shaman: Definition & Talents

This lesson will give a general definition of the terms 'shaman' and 'shamanism.' We will learn what shamans do, how they help people, and examine different religious traditions that fall under this category.

Theodicy Philosophy: Definition & Overview

43. Theodicy Philosophy: Definition & Overview

We sometimes wonder why both good and evil are able to exist in this world. In this lesson, we will look at the concept of Theodicy and how one philosopher attempted to explain why we need both good and evil.

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