Magic, Science and Religion and Other Essays by Bronislaw MalinowskiThree famous Malinowski essays! Malinowski, one of the all-time great anthropologists of the world, had a talent for bringing together in single comprehension the warm reality of human living with the cool abstractions of science. His pages have become an almost indispensable link between the knowing of exotic and remote people with theoretical knowledge about humankind. An important collection of three of his most famous essays, Magic, Science and Religion offers readers a set of concepts about religion, magic, science, rite and myth in the course of forming vivid impressions and understandings of the Trobrianders of New Guinea.
clash between magic science and religion
Magic Science and Religion
Malinowski is renowned for his meticulously detailed and sympathetic descriptions of Trobriand Island life, although his reputation was diminished somewhat by the unauthorized publication of his personal diary in His diary contained what many considered to be unflattering racial slurs against native peoples. Nevertheless, Malinowski is still highly regarded as a fieldwork researcher and was among the first to incorporate ethnographic descriptions that included native commentaries concerning their likes and dislikes, daily routines, actions, and beliefs. He was also a preeminent theorist of his day. His ideas concerning functionalism differ somewhat from those of his contemporary A. Malinowski's most important theoretical contribution to the study of religion is his essay Magic, Science and Religion.
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No writer of our times has done more than Bronislaw Malinowski to bring together in single comprehension the warm reality of human living and the cool abstractions of science. His pages have become an almost indispensable link between the knowing of exotic and remote people as we know our own neighbors and brothers, and conceptual and theoretical knowledge about mankind. The novelist of talent brings particular men and women to our direct acquaintance, but he does not convert this swift and intimate understanding into the formal generalizations of science. On the other hand, many scientific students of society state such general formulations, but without providing that direct acquaintance with real people-that sense of being there as the work is done or the spell performed-which makes the abstract generalization truly meaningful and convincing. Malinowski's gift was double: it consisted both in the genius given usually to artists and in the scientist's power to see and to declare the universal in the particular. Malinowski's reader is provided with a set of concepts as to religion, magic, science, rite and myth in the course of forming vivid impressions and understandings of the Trobrianders into whose life he is so charmingly drawn.
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Malinowski New York, Nor are there, it must be added at once, any savage races lacking either in the scientific attitude or in science, though this lack has been frequently attributed to them. In every primitive community, studied by trustworthy and competent observers, there have been found two clearly distinguishable domains, the Sacred and the Profane; in other words, the domain of Magic and Religion and that of Science. On the one hand there are the traditional acts and observances, regarded by the natives as sacred, carried out with reverence and awe, hedged around with prohibitions and special rules of behavior. Such acts and observances are always associated with beliefs in supernatural forces, especially those of magic, or with ideas about beings, spirits, ghosts, dead ancestors, or gods. On the other hand, a moment's reflection is sufficient to show that no art or craft however primitive could have been invented or maintained, no organized form of hunting, fishing, tilling, or search for food could be carried out without the careful observation [MB 18] of natural process and a firm belief in its regularity, without the power of reasoning and without confidence in the power of reason; that is, without the rudiments of science. The credit of having laid the foundations of an anthropological study of religion belongs to Edward B.
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