ATH 346-01


  • what is worldview
  • how does worldview connect w/ religion
  • what happens when worldview, religion & everyday life clash
  • what is myth?
  • how does myth connect w/ worldview & religion

what is worldview

  • culture is not a hodgepodge of random elements
  • individuals interpret everyday experience in terms of shared assumptions about how the world works
  • the encompassing picture of reality is called worldview


  • what is the nature of knowledge? how does the world work?
  • what are the answers to ultimate questions? what is the human relation to the sacred?
  • moral/ethical questions: what is appropriate and jus taction that the individuals should take? who is to blame for misfortune?

do religion & worldview overlap?

  • westerners tend to lump all non-scientific ideas under religion (junk drawer theory)
  • non-westerners: supernatural ≠ sacred
    • Mwananyanhiti
    • witchcraft
  • westerners: mystical causation, but secular

witches & sorcerers

  • always bad in anthro context
  • human beings
  • usually close kin/neighbors
  • often attributed to disempowered people
    • old women
    • members of marginal groups
  • same power of witchcraft used by witch defenders
  • sorcerers: similar to witches, but they use medicines

overlap between domains

  • creation science/ID
  • UFOlogy
  • free market
  • IQ testing

what is myth

  • often viewed as something false
  • OR, something that is old/obsolete
  • something exotic
    • Greco-Roman mythology
  • sacred story
  • deals with the important things about religion: the sacred
  • ultimate questions
  • often found out thru religious ritual


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