So you'd like to...

explore the relationship between religion and culture.

A guide by Debbie K. (Houston TX)

Products sampled from this guide:
Phenomenon of Religion A great book. The Interpretation Of Cultures (Basic Books Classics) A classic work on interpreting the symbolic nature of cultural behavior, very dense though. The Sacred and The Profane: The Nature of Religion Takes a close examination into orientation of religious thought. Natural Symbols: Explorations in CosmologyGreat work examining the relationship between social order and religious concepts.History of Religious Ideas, Volume 1: From the Stone Age to the Eleusinian MysteriesMircea Eliade's 3 vol. History of Religious Ideas. History of Religious Ideas, Volume 2: From Gautama Buddha to the Triumph of ChristianityA History of Religious Ideas, Vol. 3: From Muhammad to the Age of ReformsDramas, Fields, and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society (Symbol, Myth, and Ritual Series)Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of CultureExamines the underlying rational basis of seemingly "irrational" religious thought in various cultures. A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam Fairly good survey of the history of the "God" concept. However, due to her own religious background, Armstrong does make some significant errors when discussing faiths outside of her own (Roman Catholic) background. This is a common problem with general works on religion. Very difficult to mentally cross cultural/religious borders, because we tend to project our own paradigms onto the culture of others in a simplistic attempt to say, "Deep down, we're really all alike." In reality, our conceptual worlds are significantly different, which it why it takes cultural anthropologists years of field work to learn about a culture. Still, Armstrong's book is a reasonably good place to start. The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion Religion is the community worshipping itself.

Products mentioned include:
1.  Phenomenon of Religion  by Moojan Momen
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2.  The Interpretation Of Cultures (Basic Books Classics)  by Clifford Geertz
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3.  The Sacred and The Profane: The Nature of Religion  by Mircea Eliade
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4.  Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology  by Mary Douglas
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5.  History of Religious Ideas, Volume 1: From the Stone Age to the Eleusinian Mysteries  by Mircea Eliade
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6.  History of Religious Ideas, Volume 2: From Gautama Buddha to the Triumph of Christianity  by Mircea Eliade
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7.  A History of Religious Ideas, Vol. 3: From Muhammad to the Age of Reforms  by Mircea Eliade
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8.  Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society (Symbol, Myth, and Ritual Series)  by Victor Witter Turner
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9.  Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture  by Marvin Harris
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10.  A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam  by Karen Armstrong
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11.  The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion  by Peter L. Berger
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Author

Debbie K. (Houston TX)
Qualifications: Masters degree Cultural Anthropology & Religious Studies
Last updated: 2/10/11
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