Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology
Every natural symbol - derived from blood, breath or excrement - carries a social meaning and this work focuses on the ways in which any one culture makes its selections from body symbolism. Each person treats their body as an image of society and the author examines the varieties of ritual and symbolic expression and the patterns of social ritual in which they are embodied.
Natural Symbols is a book about religion and it concerns our own society at least as much as any other. It has stimulated new insights into religious and political movements and has provoked re-appraisals of current progressive orthodoxies in many fields. As a classic, it represents a work of anthropology in its widest sense, exploring themes such as the social meaning of natural symbols and the image of the body in society which are now very much in vogue in anthropology, sociology and cultural studies.
In this reissue and with a new Introduction, Natural Symbols will continue to appeal to all students of anthropology, sociology and religion.
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Aaron Wildavsky analysis anthropologists anti-ritualism Anuak attitudes Bantu behaviour beliefs Bernstein bias bodily body boundaries cargo cult Catholic child Christian Church classification concerned contrast cosmology cult culture dangerous develop diagram dimension Dinka Dinka-Nuer distinctive divine doctrine Douglas Durkheim efficacy elaborated code enclave Eucharist Exclusive Brethren expression external flesh formal Friday abstinence geomancy grid and group Hadza hierarchy human ibid idea individual institutions kind leaders less Lienhardt London Maccabees magical Mandari Mbuti means millennial moral movements natural symbols Navaho Nuer organization pattern political possible pressures primitive problem purity pygmies recognize rejection religion religious restricted code ritual ritualist roles rules sacramental sacred contagion sectarian sects secular sense social categories social control social environment social relations social structure social system society sociology sociology of religion speech codes spirit strong grid symbolic system theory trance tribal universe values verbal witch witchcraft zero