The Anthropology of Religion



9 Questions

What is the anthropology of religion?

Who wrote detailed comparative studies on the anthropology of religions and cultures across the Mediterranean Basin and the Indian subcontinent?

What dominated cultural anthropology in the 19th century?

Which of the following theorists has NOT influenced the anthropology of religion?

What are anthropologists of religion especially concerned with?

What did Émile Durkheim consider religion to be?

What did anthropologists circa 1940 assume about religion?

What is one major problem in the anthropology of religion?

What do religious anthropologists debate and reject?


Anthropology of religion is the study of religion in relation to other social institutions and the comparison of religious beliefs and practices across cultures. Al-Biruni wrote detailed comparative studies on the anthropology of religions and cultures across the Mediterranean Basin and the Indian subcontinent. In the 19th century, cultural anthropology was dominated by an interest in cultural evolution. Today, the anthropology of religion reflects the influence of, or an engagement with, theorists such as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Émile Durkheim, and Max Weber. Anthropologists of religion are especially concerned with how religious beliefs and practices may reflect political or economic forces or the social functions of religious beliefs and practices. In 1912, Émile Durkheim considered religion "a projection of the social values of society." Anthropologists circa 1940 assumed that religion was in complete continuity with magical thinking and that it is a cultural product. One major problem in the anthropology of religion is the definition of religion itself. Today, religious anthropologists debate, and reject, the cross-cultural validity of certain religious practices and beliefs. Anthony F. C. Wallace proposes four categories of religion, each subsequent category subsuming the previous. Anthropologists have considered various criteria for defining religion, but few claim that these criteria are universally valid. The anthropology of religion is concerned with the specific religious practices and beliefs of various cultures.


Test your knowledge on the anthropology of religion with this fascinating quiz! Discover the historical evolution of this field of study and the influential theorists that have shaped it. Explore the relationship between religion and social institutions, political and economic forces, and cultural practices. Challenge yourself with questions on the definition of religion and its various categories proposed by Anthony F. C. Wallace. This quiz is perfect for anyone interested in cultural anthropology, sociology, or religious studies.

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