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Symbol and Theory : A Philosophical Study of Theories of Religion in Social Anthropology - John Skorupski

Symbol and Theory

A Philosophical Study of Theories of Religion in Social Anthropology

Paperback Published: 2nd May 1983
ISBN: 9780521272520
Number Of Pages: 284

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Anthropologists have always been concerned with the difference between traditional (or 'primitive') and scientific modes of thought and with the relationships between magic, religion and science. John Skorupski distinguishes two broadly opposed approaches to these problems: the 'intellectualist' regards primitive systems of thought and actions as cosmologies, comparable to scientific theory, which emerge and persist as attempts to control the natural world; the 'symbolist' regards them as essentially representative or expressive of the pattern of social relations in the culture in which they exist. Dr Skorupski considers in particular the notions of ritual, ceremony and symbol. He shows how their understanding involves and suggests more general philosophical problems of relativism, interpretation, translation, and the connections between belief and action. These are difficult and important problems and require an unusual combination of imagination and interdisciplinary exercise. This book is intended especially for philosophers, social anthropologists, social theorists and students of comparative religion.

The Framework of Belief
The intellectualist programme
The Durkheimian thesis
Variations on the symbolist theme
Symbol and theory
Ritual Action
'Ritual'
Ceremony and interaction
Operative ceremonies
Symbols and symbolic action
Theories of magic
The Framework of Belief: Intellectualism
'Ritual' reconsidered
Intellectualism, 'Frazerian' and 'Dorkheimian'
'Traditional' and 'Modern'
Paradox and explanation
Appendix
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521272520
ISBN-10: 0521272521
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 284
Published: 2nd May 1983
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 1.63
Weight (kg): 0.36

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