Animism Sentence Examples
Demons, when they are regarded as spirits, may belong to either of the classes of spirits recognized by primitive animism; that is to say, they may be human, or non-human, separable souls, or discarnate spirits which have never inhabited a body; a sharp distinction is often drawn between these two classes, notably by the Melanesians, the West Africans and others; the Arab jinn, for example, are not reducible to modified human souls; at the same time these classes are frequently conceived as producing identical results, e.g.
On this theory animism, the doctrine of spirits, is the source of all belief in gods.
How persistent is ancient animism!
The oldest of these religions is Animism, which represents the beginnings of religion in India, and is still professed by the more primitive tribes, such as Santals, Bhils and Gonds.
These are the doctrines of animism, and, according to the usual anthropological theory, these spirits come to thrive to god's estate in favourable circumstances, as where the dead man, when alive, had great man y or wakan, a great share of the ether, so to speak, which, in savage metaphysics, is the viewless vehicle of magical influences.Advertisement
Animism may have arisen out of or simultaneously with animatism as a primitive explanation of many different phenomena; if animism was originally applied to non-human or inanimate objects, animism may from the outset have been in vogue as a theory of the nature of man.
Many nature religions, such as animism, believe that everything found in nature has a personification, a spirit.
In the animistic attitude we have in- Anim- deed the true background of the genuine Roman religion; but its characteristic and peculiar development is a kind of "higher Animism," which can associate the "spirit" not merely with visible and tangible objects, but with states and actions in the life of the individual and the community.
We are not concerned with the question whether the earliest forms of recorded religious consciousness such as animism, or totemism, or fetishism, were themselves degradations of a primitive revelation or not.
Image worship then is a sort of animism.Advertisement
Lists of phenomena from the contemplation of which the savage was led to believe in animism have been given by Dr Tylor, Herbert Spencer, Mr Andrew Lang and others; an animated controversy arose between the former as to the priority of their respective lists.
If the phenomena of dreams were, as suggested above, of great importance for the development of animism, the belief, which must originally have been a doctrine of human psychology, cannot have failed to expand speedily into a general philosophy of nature.
But, while it differs from both in denying the reality of body, it differs from the former in extending conscious soul not only to plants, as Stahl did, but to all Nature; and it differs from the latter in the different consequences drawn by materialism and idealism from this universal animism.
Comte applied the term to denominate the view of nature more commonly termed animism.
Such theories are the modern scientific or semi-scientific counterparts of the primitive animism of savage races, and may be compared with the hylozoism of the Greek physicists.Advertisement
In the very earliest times of the most remote animism we find the belief that a person, rapt from all sense of the outside world, possessed by a spirit, acquired from that state a degree of sanctity, was supposed to have a degree of insight, denied to ordinary mortals.
This has been since designated as polyzoism or panthelism or panvitalism, 2 and represents the obscure undifferentiated groundwork out of which Tylor's Animism arises.
The term " animism," which embodies Tylor's classical theory of primitive religion, is unfortunately somewhat ambiguous.
Such anthropomorphism is with difficulty reduced to the Tylorian animism.
The religion of the Tasmanians, when cleared from ideas apparently learnt from the whites, was a simple form of animism based on the shadow (warrawa) being the soul or spirit.Advertisement
While hoping for a better fate in their next birth, the poor turned for succour and advice in this to the aid of astrology, witchcraft and animism - a belief in which seems to underlie all 1 Note on the Date of the Buddha.
If the name of " god " is denied to such beings because they receive little cult, it may still be admitted that the belief might easily develop into a form of theism, independent of and underived from animism, or the ghost theory.
Among the Arunta, the Alcheringa folk are part of a strangely elaborate theory of evolution and of animism, which leaves no room for a creative being, or for a future life of the spirit, which is merely reincarnated at intervals.
The primitive philosophy of animism involves the ascription of all phenomena to personal agencies.
The religion is an undisguised animism, and all their frequent and elaborate ceremonies and festivals are aimed at exorcising and scaring spirits.Advertisement
Today we pride ourselves for having shaken off such primitive animism.
Of course, religion and politics have been intertwined with violence since the days of universal animism in 6000 to 8000 BP.
The belief in such occasional manifestations has probably existed as long as the belief in the existence of spirits apart from human bodies (see Animism; Magic, &c.), and a complete examination into it would involve a discussion of the religions of all ages and nations.
Probably magic was always accompanied by some primitive form of animism whether the Melanesian mana or fetishism (see Dr Haddon's Magic and Fetishism, pp. 58-62, 64-90).
This latter theory, which in many cases is equivalent to personification, though it may be, like animism, a feature of the philosophy of peoples of low culture, should not be confused with it.
Animism is commonly described as the most primitive form of religion; but properly speaking it is not a religion at all, for religion implies, at any rate, some form of emotion (see Religion), and animism is in the first instance an explanation of phenomena rather than an attitude of mind toward the cause of them, a philosophy rather than a religion.
For mechanical conceptions he substituted the theory of" animism "- attributing to the soul the functions of ordinary animal life in man, while the life of other creatures was left to mechanical laws.
But Fetishism must very early have developed into Animism, the feeling of the sacredness of the object into the sense of an indwelling spirit.
The psychological side of animism has already been dealt with; almost equally important in primitive creeds is the eschatological aspect.
The animism common alike to the untaught Huns and to their Hindu conquerors, but condemned in early Buddhism, was allowed to revive.
On theoretical grounds it is probable that animatism preceded animism; but savage thought is no more consistent than that of civilized man; and it may well be that animistic and panthelistic doctrines are held simultaneously by the same person.
Just as a process of syncretism has given rise to cults of animal gods, tree spirits tend to become detached from the trees, which are thenceforward only their abodes; and here again animism has begun to pass into polytheism.
In the Micronesian Islands, while animism and tabu were strong, there was not the cannibalism of the southern islands.
See also bibliography to Possession, Animism and other articles.
Animism in its completeness met with little acceptance during the lifetime of its author, but influenced some of the iatro-physical school.
But little need be said on the relation of animism and mythology.
Thus, animism is in some directions little developed, so far as we can see, among the Australian aborigines; but from those who know them best we learn that they believe in innumerable spirits and bush bogies, which wander, especially at night, and can be held at bay by means of fire; with this belief may be compared the ascription in European folk belief of prophylactic properties to iron.
The spirit of syncretism manifests itself in this department of animism too; the immanent spirit of the earlier period becomes the presiding genius or local god of later times, and with the rise of the doctrine of separable souls we again reach the confines of animism pure and simple.
Fechner's panpsychism has a certain affinity both to Stahl's animism and to the hylozoism of materialists such as Haeckel.