Religion has experienced growing importance in recent years, and interest in the anthropological study of religion has increased as well. This reference book offers a much-needed overview of the most significant topics and concerns in the field. Chapters by expert contributors examine such matters as snake handling, magic and ritual, shamanism, and the role of religion in particular cultures. Chapters contain extensive documentation, and a bibliography concludes the volume.
The anthropological study of religion is at a crossroads. While fewer textbooks on the anthropology of religion are published each year and much of what is available is decades old, religion is playing an increasingly prominent role in society. Scholars from many fields are reading anthropological works on religion with great interest, and such works are cited frequently in books and articles in a range of disciplines. Religion has been found in all societies studied by anthropologists and is one of the hallmarks of human creativity.
This reference book provides a much-needed overview of the most important topics and trends in the anthropology of religion. Chapters by expert contributors examine the varied manifestations of religion in diverse cultural contexts. Among the topics surveyed are shamanism, snake handling, rituals in particular cultural traditions, religion and altered states of consciousness, and the role of science in religion and anthropology. Chapters contain extensive documentation, and a bibliography concludes the volume.