Primitive Religion, A Description Of Ancient Religion

1210 words - 5 pages

"Primitive religion is a name given to the religious beliefs and practices of those traditional, often isolated, preliterate cultures which have not developed urban and technologically sophisticated forms of society." (Long, 1) The term is deceptive in suggesting that the religions of those peoples are somehow less complex than the religions of "advanced", "civilized", or "modern" society.The term primitive religion unjustly represents a great deal of beliefs and customs that simply cannot be shrink wrapped into one basic category. There is a diverse multiplicity of myths, rituals, and beliefs among the various "primitive" religions throughout the world. However, most primitive religions share some interesting characteristics."The sense of a living power underlying all forms of life, referred to as either mana or animism by European scholars" (Winckel, 13) is a belief shared by most primitive religions. "Mana is a sacred force that permeates existence. It is within persons and things, as well as in the universe. It is a supernatural power that possesses magnetic force." (Winckel, 13) The term most often used within primitive cultures for this force usually translates to "Great Spirit."A great deal of significance is placed on the soul as a central force to many primitive religions. Peter Paul of the Maliseet tribe in New Brunswich reinforces this, "An Indian, as far as religion goes, he lived his religion. He didn't have to go to church to be told just how to live. Everyday life was his religion." (Winckel, 19) An Eskimo known as Ikinilik adds, "The only thing of value in a man is the soul. That is why it is given everlasting life, either in the land of the sky or in the underworld. The soul is man's greatest power; it is the soul that makes us human, but how it does so we do not know. Our flesh and blood, our body, is nothing but an envelope about our vital power." (Winckel, 19) The soul was often thought as a vital force present in all living organisms that can literally exit the body and is capable of independent existence in its own mode.Also the worship of many gods is a common characteristic shared by primal religions. Gods are usually known through the mode of their appearance. Creator gods are usually deities of the sky. "The sky as a primordial expression of transcendence is one of the exemplary forms of sacred power." (Long, 1) Deities of the sky such as the sun, moon, and stars are often considered to possess an ultimate power and must be honored and respected to avoid chaos.Rituals are also a common characteristic shared by primitive religions (and by all religions). Rituals are a way of communicating with the Great Spirit or gods in a direct manner. The forms and functions of rituals are diverse. They may be performed to ensure the favor of the god(s), to ward off evil, or to mark a change in cultural status. "Generally, rituals express the great transitions in human life: birth, puberty, marriage and death." (Long, 1) Rituals are...

Find Another Essay On Primitive Religion, a description of ancient religion

Ancient Celtic Religion- speech

738 words - 3 pages Good evening honored guests and welcome to the opening of the ‘Ancient Celtic Exhibit’. I'm the curator of the museum and I will be giving you a glimpse at what our exhibit holds. Archaeological studies have found that the Celtic religion has existed for over 3000 years from 1400 B.C. to today. Around the 6th Century B.C. the Celts spread from their homeland, Germany and Europe through Ireland all the way to Ukraine and Turkey. These

Ancient Eyptian Religion Essay

620 words - 2 pages ? Egyptian Mythology ( religion of Ancient Egypt )- Dominating influence in their culture's development- Based on an unorganized collection of ancient myths, nature worship, innumerable deities? Creation ( Based on the Egyptian belief )- Only the ocean existed at first- Ra, the sun, came out of an egg ( a flower, in some versions ) that appeared on the surface of the water- Ra's four children: gods - Shu and Geb; goddesses - Tefnut and Nut- Shu

Archetypes of Shinto and Ancient Greek Religion

815 words - 3 pages birth to a virtuous child, for siblings love each other from the start and therefore have a high chance of becoming successful parents. However, even though ancient Japan and Greece thought that sibling parents might be caring, both cultures have stories of casting away children. In the Shinto myth, the sibling parents gave birth to a “leech-child,” so they “abandoned it to the winds”. The Greek myth has a story in which Uranus “banished

Religion Essay- How ancient is religion?

602 words - 2 pages bringing harm back to the people.Religion during the early dawn of man is quiet evident in fossils today. The evidence identified at burial sites, significant offerings and the representations of gods in rituals and carvings have all suggested mans belief in a divine being which confirms to the audience how ancient religion is.Bibliographyhttp://www.meta-religion.com/World_Religions/Ancient_religions/ancient_religions.htm, 14/4/2006http://touregypt.net/featurestories/religion.htm, 14/4/2006http://www.greekreligion.org/, 14/4/2006

Wicca. This is a description of the Pagan religion of Wicca

1445 words - 6 pages Wicca is a religion that can be found in many English-speaking countries, originally founded by the British civil servant Gerald Gardner, probably in the 1940s, although it was first openly revealed in 1954. Since its founding, various related Wiccan traditions have evolved, the original being Gardnerian Wicca, which is the name of the tradition that follows the specific beliefs and practices established by Gerald Gardner.The history of Wicca is

Daoism- An Ancient Chinese Religion

1172 words - 5 pages Taoism, although an ancient Chinese religion, is still an active and popular religion and philosophy that has survived due to its history and its doctrine, thus proving that a nascent philosophy from ancient times can still be viable and relevant for humanity’s daily life. Although there is no specific date of the creation of Daoism, many legends shed light onto the history of the origins of this way of life. Lao-Tze, meaning the “old

Book Review of Ancient Greek Religion by Jon D. Mikalson

1207 words - 5 pages Approaching the subject of ancient Greek religion one encounters a paradox – simultaneously we know too little and too much. The Greeks have neither a word for religion in their vocabulary, nor possessed sacred books or religious texts, they neither formed clergy, nor appointed a person to exercise absolute religious authority. However, in Greek society the ubiquity and presence of their gods consumed the commoners, influenced the politicians

The Role of Religion and Major Deities in Ancient Egypt

693 words - 3 pages Prior to Egypt becoming unified under the rules of pharaohs each community of people in the Nile Valley and along the Nile River developed its own god or gods, many connected or replicating animals. Religion played a central role in the daily lives of ancient Egyptians and inspired the extraordinary temples, pyramids and other associated magnificent structures. The unique spiritual world was complex with the fascination of afterlife and the

Ancient Egyptian Influence on Modern Religion

3632 words - 15 pages trinity that was already rooted in Egypt” (Beheshti). Often as a means to convert local Peoples, pagan tradition was used for familiarity and as a coaxing mechanism for attracting more followers. Egyptians were already familiar with the concept of three through Pythagoras’ philosophy of three as the perfect number and the use of triads of gods and goddesses in their religion (Weigall). Interestingly, the ancient Egyptians frequently arranged their

World History Notes On Ancient Sumerian City States,Religion,Law,Math& Writing::Downfall of Sumerians::Ancient Middle Eastern Civilizations(other than Sumer)

1052 words - 4 pages *Ancient Middle East* (3570 b.c-331 b.c)-Sumerians are the first known civilization in the Middle East.-Sumerians settled in Mesopotamia, which is present-day Iraq-Mesopotamia means "lands between two rivers" (Tigris & Euphrates)-Mesopotamia lies in the East End of "Fertile Crescent"(rich fertile land extending from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea.-It was a hot and dry climate between the rivers, but it had fertile land.- The lands

About the Ancient Egyptian Religion and personal thoughts on how it compares to our lives today

888 words - 4 pages and played a role in the circle of life. No creature was insignificant and everything deserved respect. The kings were gods and had huge temples and statues made in their honor. The pyramids were built in honor of these kings, not only as a resting place for their physical bodies, but also as a stairway into the heavens.As with most other religions, the Egyptians had immortal deities to watch over them. Their human and celestial forms were painted

Similar Essays

Ancient Greek Religion Essay

1303 words - 5 pages Arisleida GuzmanProfessor Michael CiscoEnglish 111/515A11/5/2014Ancient Greek ReligionDo you want to be treated as a God and have people love you and treat you decently, respect you, follow you, and believe in you? Well let's take a trip to Ancient Greece and explore their beliefs. The book of Homer Odyssey talk about many gods that ancient Greeks believed many years ago before Jesus Christ. Their religion was different from any other religion

Ancient Egyptian Religion Essay

1073 words - 4 pages Religion was not a monolithic institution, it consisted of a large variety of different beliefs and practices, all of which were linked by the common focus on the interaction between the Egyptian people and the divine realm, as the gods of this realm linked the Egyptian understanding of the world. As the Ancient Egyptian Religion was an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. Polytheism the belief of multiple deities usually assembled into a

Ancient Rome: Religion Essay

1570 words - 6 pages IntroductionIn the second century BC, the Romans conquered Greece and adopted lots of their culture, their myths, legends and gods. Religion was very important for Romans. It was a function of law. Religion for the Romans was not about their love for gods or of gods who loved them, nor was it about waiting for a happy life in the hereafter. For the Romans, devotion to the gods and pleasing the gods was a duty, an act of patriotism, an act of

Religion In Ancient Societies Essay

828 words - 3 pages in many societies such as Mesopotamians, Egyptians and the Greeks. The similarity of all three ancient societies was that it was a polytheistic religion but the differences were their centers, physical orientation of gods and the jobs of the divine right. Centers were extraordinary sacred places, which was one of the functions that made up a civilization. It was a place where all the important things occurred. Centers were made up of expensive