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In this assignment you will learn about the difficulties that surround attempts to define religion in a way that is cross-culturally valid.

You will become familiar with some of the diversity of human religious beliefs and will gain insight into the fact that religious beliefs may have adaptive benefits for their culture.

You will learn about the role of feelings in religion and how feelings and beliefs are related to religious rituals.

You will learn about the common types of religious specialists and about different ways that religious groups are organized.

Finally, you will learn about the psychological functions of religion and about the characteristics of religious thinking.

Assignment PDF eBook: 
Chapter 6: Anthropology Religion and Culture
Download #6 Religion & Culture Assignment PDF eBook
50 Pages
English US
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Sample Questions from the Chapter 6: Anthropology Religion and Culture Assignment

Question: Which of the following is NOT true of the Hindu belief in the sacredness of the zebu cow?


It was written into the Indian constitution.

It has been the cause of much hunger in India.

It is the source of the English phrase “sacred cow.”

Cows wander the streets without being molested or killed.

Question: Which religious organization is the simplest and possibly the oldest?


shamanic religion

communal religion

ecclesiastical religion of the Olympian type

ecclesiastical religion of the monotheistic type

Question: According to research by Guy Swanson, monotheism is most likely to be found in those societies that:


depend on foraging for foods.

are isolated from other societies.

have no complex descent systems such as clans and lineages.

organize the sovereign decision-making groups into at least three levels.

Question: Syncretism is _______________.


a form of worship.

a magical ritual performed to bring groups into harmony.

the belief in gods who are uninterested in human affairs.

the borrowing of beliefs and rituals by one religion from another.

Question: the innate ability to influence supernatural forces, usually to operate in ways that are harmful to others, without the necessity of using rituals















Law of Similarity

Law of Contagion


disease object

spirit possession



revitalization movement

Question: The belief that illness is caused by loss of one’s soul is most common where socialization stresses:


independence, assertiveness, and the use of power to gain high status.

passivity, helpfulness, and docility.

the importance of community.

the importance of family.

Question: Which of the following is NOT part of Victor Turner’s concept of the period of communities?


the separation period

the liminal period

the “mystery of intimacy”

the importance of hierarchy

Question: According to Emile Durkheim, the basis of religious ideas is to fulfill the need to _______________.


explain natural features of the environment.

give symbolic expression to fears and anxieties.

create symbols that evoke feelings of respect, fear, and awe towards important social institutions and customs.

control important aspects of their environment.

Question: Religious ideology is so extremely diverse in the cultures of the world because it:


has no practical considerations that limit variation in other aspects of culture.

is less influenced by the practical considerations that limit variation in other aspects of culture.

is an arbitrary creation of the human mind.

has no relationship to the real world.

Question: The two principles of magic wherever it is found are:


The law of mana and the law of taboo.

The law of contagion and the law of imitation.

The law of contagion and the law of taboo.

The law of imitation and the law of mana.

Question: According to Tylor, the main function of religion was to help people.


answer perplexing questions, such as what causes unconsciousness, dreams, and death.

feel more secure by giving them comfort.

control their anxieties by providing rituals which distract them from their worries.

control their anxieties by providing rituals which given them a feeling of control.

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Source:  Prof. Richley Crapo, Cultural Anthropology. (Utah State University), (Accessed 28 Mar, 2014). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
Anindyo Mukhopadhyay
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