Date of Award

10-1969

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

Supervisor

R. Slobodin

Language

English

Abstract

The first two chapters review the intellectualist interpretation of religion and ancestor worship and examine' the rise of the sociological approach. Chapter Three proposes definitions of key terms, differentiating cults of the dead from cults of collective clan ancestors and of immediate jural superiors. Chapter Four analyses the links proposed between unilineality and ancestor worship. Chapter Five discusses the functionalist approach to a belief in life after death. Chapters Six, Seven, Nine, Ten and Eleven. summarize important work done among some of the African peoples who worship ancestors. Chapter Eight looks at Fortes' theory of ancestor worship and authority. Chapters Twelve to Fourteen look at the relevant data from India, China, Japan and Melanesia. Chapter Fifteen sums up and evaluates the approaches adopted by anthropologists in the analysis of ancestor worship.

McMaster University Library

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