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  1. An ethnological analogy and biogenetic model for interpretation of religion and ritual in the pastWinkelman, Michael J. - Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 2022 - 4 Hypotheses

    Expanding on the author’s previous findings, this article examines the social and economic variables that may explain the cultural evolution of religious practitioners. With a 47 society sample, the author found that subsistence activities and socio-political conditions predict magico-religious practitioner types (sorcerers/witches, priests, shamanistic healers, mediums, healers, shaman/healers, and shamans) with the strongest results being from subsistence and political organization. He then used these findings to theorize about the biogenetic bases of religion in societies.

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  2. Gods, rituals, and the moral orderStark, Rodney - Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2001 - 2 Hypotheses

    Stark attempts to resituate Tylor's formulation of religion by calling into question Swanson's (1960) and Peregrine's (1996) findings that supernatural sanctions and moral behavior are consistently correlated in small-scale societies. Positing that Swanson's correlations were confounded by variables related to cultural complexity, Stark tests the association of presence of moralizing Gods with cultural complexity explicitly, as well as measures of morality in various nations as provided by the World Values Survey (1990-1991). The robust correlations across cultures noted below, as well as cross-national findings, provide support for the researcher's theory that it is particular conceptions of God rather than participation in rites and rituals which empower religion to sustain complex moral culture.

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  3. Magico-religious practitioner types and socioeconomic conditionsWinkelman, Michael James - Cross-Cultural Research, 1986 - 12 Hypotheses

    The authors examine the relationship between magico-religious practitioner type and socioeconomic variables in order to present a typology of magico-religious practitioners. Three bases for magico-religious practitioners are discussed in terms of selection procedures and activities. Several hypotheses are empirically tested, and descriptive generalizations derived from analyses are presented.

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  4. Hunter-gatherers and the origins of religionPeoples, Hervey C. - Human Nature, 2016 - 6 Hypotheses

    What is the evolutionary sequence of beliefs in hunter-gatherers? The authors attempt to answer this question by reconstructing the development of various traits in traditional societies using phylogenetic and linguistic source trees. Testing for correlated evolution between this reconstruction and population history as proxied by linguistic classification suggests the presence of animism at profound time depth, aligning with classical anthropological religious theory put forth by E.B. Tylor. Coevolutions between other religious concepts including shamanism, ancestor worship, active ancestor worship, high gods, active high gods, and belief in an afterlife are also examined.

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  5. Permanent group membershipRoes, Frans L. - Biological Theory, 2014 - 2 Hypotheses

    This article reviews the theory that permanent animal groups have only one sex breed outside the group in order to balance genetic diversity and group relatedness. The author theorises that since males inherit valuable membership in patrilocal/lineal societies, they are expected to be more concerned about the probability of paternity than males in matrilocal/lineal societies. Moral rules, and specifically belief in moralizing gods, are expected to reflect this difference. In other words, moralizing gods are used to restrict the sexual activity of women.

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  6. Moralistic supernatural punishment is probably not associated with social complexityLightner, Aaron D. - Evolution and Human Behavior, 2022 - 2 Hypotheses

    This paper examines the relationship between moralizing gods (gods that impose moral rules or punish those who break them) and social complexity. The authors argue that previous research, which relied on the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample's "moralizing high gods" variable as a proxy measure for the presence of moralizing gods, may have underestimated the presence of moralizing gods in societies. This is because the criteria used to define "moralizing high gods" are not relevant to whether a god is moralistic or punitive. The authors argue that this leads to a false positive association between moralizing gods and social complexity, and that ethnographic evidence suggests that moralizing gods are actually more prevalent in small-scale societies than had previously been thought. Future researchers, therefore, need to be careful about making assumptions about the moralizing gods of small scale societies based on "moralizing high gods", and find other ways to identify whether moralizing gods are present.

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  7. A cross-cultural method for predicting nonmaterial traits in archeologyMcNett, Charles W., Jr. - Behavior Science Notes, 1970 - 2 Hypotheses

    "This paper presents an exploratory attempt to solve the problem of how to infer traits for which no direct material evidence remains." The author suggests that the archeologically defined community pattern can predict several sociocultural traits. Results support this hypothesis.

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  8. Factor analysis of a cross-cultural sampleMcNett, Charles W., Jr. - Behavior Science Notes, 1973 - 3 Hypotheses

    This study employs factor analysis to develop a settlement pattern scale of cultural complexity. Political, economic, and religious factors are identified and implications for the structure of the cultural system are discussed.

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  9. Naming and identity: a cross-cultural study of personal naming practicesAlford, Richard - , 1987 - 14 Hypotheses

    This book examines naming practices cross-culturally. The author posits that naming practices help to both reflect and create conceptions of personal identity. Several correlations between name meanings and practices and various sociocultural variables are presented.

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  10. The birth of the gods; the origin of primitive beliefsSwanson, Guy E. - , 1960 - 10 Hypotheses

    This book investigates the origins of supernatural and religious beliefs. The author tests associations between various types of beliefs (e.g. witchcraft, monotheism) and various societal characteristics (e.g. mobility, class stratification). Many hypotheses are supported. Theoretical discussion is included, and the author posits that “the belief in a particular kind of spirit springs from experiences with a type of persisting sovereign group whose area of jurisdiction corresponds to that attributed to the spirit” (175).

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