Notices
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Intermixing of Early Civilization Religion

  1. #1 Intermixing of Early Civilization Religion 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    27
    I just finished a book on the earliest possible findings we have on world civilization and noticed that many early cultures share similar religious stories. Throughout it, the author discusses the communication brought on by commerce and how ideas became shared. To the best of anyone's knowledge, can these be traced to any particular people group or are they simply the product of numerous cultures sharing their traditions?


    Thanks


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,046
    Just a guess, but I'm thinking that most cultures were highly egocentric. So whenever they would hear a really cool story about something epic happening in the past, especially something that affected the whole world, they would co-opt it into their own religion or their oral history. In particular I'm thinking of the flood story, which managed to migrate across many cultures, and made it into the Hebrew bible, even though it almost certainly wasn't part of their own history.

    But if you think your religion is the center of humanity and all others are heathens, then naturally any story about something that affects everyone must have been about someone who follows your religion, right?


    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Bachelors Degree dmwyant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    456
    Another factor in religious conversion and similarities is that conquering tribes/nations/peoples realized early on that by adopting aspects of their newly subjugated peoples religions it would help maintain control. Some prime examples are found in Christianity. Example 1 is Easter. Much of the symbolism now associated with the holiday is taken from pagan religions who celebrated spring with fertility rights, hence the egg. Also Christmas. Many pagan religions had traditions regarding death and rebirth in the winter. Christianity thus began celebrating the birth of their saviour in the winter. In many respects it makes conversion easier. "Hey, they have holidays that are around the same time as ours, and look, they have a diety figure who died and was resurrected too. I guess we can try it out."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D. stander-j's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Winnipeg
    Posts
    854
    Just cracked open my old textbook for this one.
    What is believed to be some of the major factors of the religious beliefs of the major prehistoric African Linguistic groups:

    Niger-Congo:
    There is a creator, and Ancestor spirits look out for the clan, there are spirits that are territorial and subject to specific areas, evil is caused by individuals - and by neglecting ancestors. Diviner-Docors - priests of territorial spirits.

    Sudanic (I believe this is where Abrahamic religions come from):
    Evil is caused be divine judgment or retribution. They had herbal healers, and prophets to divine causes of evil - and to act as mediators between people and divinity.

    Afrasan (Reminds me of the beliefs during the Classical Era):
    They were Henotheistic, and tended to believe evil was called by malicious spirits.

    Khoisan:
    Nontheistic/Mystic. They believed in a condition of the spirit, and power. This can be tapped into with trance-dance. We do not know what they believed evil stemmed from.

    I've found myself coming to the opinion that comparing the genetic pool of cultural/religious groups, to other cultural/religious groups they can be lumped in with, might prove to have very interesting results.
    Last edited by stander-j; May 8th, 2012 at 06:21 PM.
    "Cultivated leisure is the aim of man."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4,211
    and then
    as Maggie Meade (Gregory Bateson's wife) so sucinctly pointed out
    there is always danger of contamination from "the interviewer effect"
    how does an anthropologist negate this effect and succeed in the quest for an objective view?

    how much of what we expect do we see in any analisys of any other culture'?
    and how much of our preconceptions are evident in our analisys of previous, or other extant, cultures?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    10
    Everyone else is correct, but there is also henotheism. Henotheism says that every religion is true, and you just happen to worship one, it can be inferred, that this offers a certain opportunity to borrow from other religions. Some religions might have a phylogenetic relationship as well, for example the abrahamic religions. And of course there is also trade and cultural intermixing, as claimed by the "christ-mythers" all though there is probably more definite examples.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Bachelors Degree dmwyant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    456
    Quote Originally Posted by willbell View Post
    Everyone else is correct, but there is also henotheism. Henotheism says that every religion is true, and you just happen to worship one, it can be inferred, that this offers a certain opportunity to borrow from other religions. Some religions might have a phylogenetic relationship as well, for example the abrahamic religions. And of course there is also trade and cultural intermixing, as claimed by the "christ-mythers" all though there is probably more definite examples.
    Kind of like "you have your gods and I have mine.... If I get in really deep shit can I borrow a couple?"
    Not all who wander are lost... Some of us just misplaced our destination.

    I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist.
    -Jack London
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 59
    Last Post: May 17th, 2010, 09:52 AM
  2. Civilization of millions of rings.
    By Ruslan_Sharipov in forum Astronomy & Cosmology
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: December 3rd, 2009, 12:31 PM
  3. Thermodynamic Civilization
    By Schizo in forum Physics
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: March 13th, 2008, 02:04 AM
  4. Civilization lifetime
    By mrose837 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: February 18th, 2007, 12:18 PM
  5. Civilization must have someone who knows better
    By genep in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: July 27th, 2005, 05:19 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •