Non-Fiction Books:

Religion: A Humanist Interpretation



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Religion: A Humanist Interpretation by Raymond Firth
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Religion:A Humanist Interpretation represents a lifetime's work on the anthropology of religion from a rathr unusual viewpoint.Raymond Firth treats religion as a human art,capable of great intellectual and artistic achievemints,but also of complex manipulation to seve human interests of those who believe in itand operate it.Teligion may also be used as a symbol or cloak for violence,with political of economic aims.The study is comparative,drawing material from a range of well-known and lesser-known religions around the world,and giving the results of much anthropological research.Its findings are a challenge to established beliefs. The book explores notions of the divine,both as a single person and in a multiplicity of gods.It considers ideas and practices of communication with the supernatural,as in spirit possession,the roles of religious leaders,the function of prayer,offering and sacrifice.Thoughts on the relation between religion and politics include a critque of Karl Marx's idea of religion as "spiritual aroma". Examples are given of the subtleties of theological controversy,and of the difficulties faced by religious organizations in coming go terms with modern economic and political developments.
Release date NZ
November 30th, 1995
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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