A Handbook of Ancient Religions by John R. Hinnells

By John R. Hinnells

Historical civilisations workout an extreme fascination for individuals internationally. This guide presents a shiny, scholarly, and eminently readable account of old cultures around the globe, from China to India, the center East, Egypt, Europe, and the Americas. It examines the improvement of non secular trust from the time of the Palaeolithic cave work to the Aztecs and Incas. masking the complete of society not only the elite, the guide outlines the background of the various societies in order that their faith and tradition will be understood in context. each one bankruptcy contains dialogue of the large box of correct stories alerting the reader to wider debates on each one topic. a world workforce of students exhibit their very own deep enthusiasm for his or her topic and supply a special research of either well known and 'official' faith within the historical global.

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Extra resources for A Handbook of Ancient Religions

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Sympathetic magic At the very beginning of the twentieth century the first religious conception of the art was proposed (Reinach 1903). It was to enjoy enormous prestige after the Abb´e Henri Breuil and his friend Count Henri B´egou¨en formalized and popularized it. ‘Hunting magic’, as it was generally called, was even exported abroad and used to interpret ethnic arts and practices in Africa and America. Fundamentally, hunting magic was a type of sympathetic, or imitative, magic that was based on a postulated identity between an image and the reality it represented.

As an accident of history, these Siberian shamans came to represent ‘classic’ shamanism, and Siberia became the ‘type site’ of shamanism. Later, similar specialists and practices were found in North America, Africa and elsewhere, and the name was extended to those places. Today, some researchers emphasize differences rather than similarities and question the integrity of ‘shamanism’ as a category of belief and practice. They see ‘shamanism’ as a semantic trap. Certainly, there has been much ambiguity and vagueness in the ways that the word has been used.

Portable art was consistently made by those anatomically modern people. They carved and engraved mammoth tusk ivory, bones and reindeer antlers, probably wood, and sometimes stone plaquettes. Many of these objects, such as the plaquettes, seem to have no practical purpose. But when a tool or a weapon is Palaeolithic art and religion XIV XV XIII 0 cm 50 1 2 3 4 5 Fig. 3. Triple Upper Palaeolithic burial at Doln´ı Vestonice (Czech Republic). 1: charcoal and stone tools, 2: red ochre, 3: molluscs 4: human and animal teeth and ivory pendant, 5: side of the pit.

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