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Archive for the ‘Animism’ Category
Graham Harvey discussing Animism at: The Religious Studies Project.
Animism is often taken as referring to worldviews in which spirits are to be found not only in humans, but potentially in animals, in plants, in mountains and even natural forces like the wind. It was of central importance in early anthropological conceptions of religion, most notably in the work of E. B. Tylor. More recently, however, Graham Harvey has challenged the traditional conception of animism, seeking to understand it as “relational epistemologies and ontologies”; in other words, it is a way of living in a community of persons, most of whom are other-than-human.
Dr Graham Harvey has been Reader in Religious Studies at the Open University since 1993, and is also the President Elect of our sponsors, the British Association for the Study of Religions. Other than Animism, his work has covered a wide range of subjects, from Judaism, Paganism, Indigenous Religions and Shamanism.
His most important publication on animism is his 2005 book Animism: Respecting the Living World. It is supported by www.animism.org.uk, which features essays, articles and interviews which expand on the material in this podcast.
Episode five of a thirty-part series made in collaboration with the British Library Sound Archive.
Around the world charismatic individuals claim the ability to change the weather, heal illness and help crops grow. Professor David Hendy explains how sound – and its manipulation – is central to the shaman’s power.
David introduces the eerie rituals of Siberian reindeer herders as they summon spirits, before coming closer to home to hear a mysterious singing angel high in the facade of Wells Cathedral.
”Aborigines openly and unaffectedly converse with everything in their surroundings—trees, tools, animals, rocks—as if all things have an intelligence deserving of respect.” —Robert Lawlor, “Voices of the First Day”
The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness
“Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.” They could also have included fish, for whom the evidence supporting sentience and consciousness is also compelling.