Re: FW: Religous Variation

J Cook (0002019573@MCIMAIL.COM)
Wed, 31 Jul 1996 07:49:00 EST

-- [ From: Jesse S. Cook III * EMC.Ver #2.3 ] --

-------- REPLY, Original message follows --------

Date: Tuesday, 30-Jul-96 10:26 AM

From: John McCreery \ Internet: (
From: John McCreery \ Internet: (
To: Multiple recipients of list ANTHRO-L \ Internet:

Subject: Re: FW: Religous Variation

> Malinowski observed some time ago that "Today we are
> somewhat perplexed by the discovery that to a savage all is
> religion, that he perpetually lives in a world of mysticism and
> ritualism. If religion is coextensive with "life" and with
> "death" into the bargain, if it arises from all "collective"
> acts
> and from all "crises in the individual's existence," if it
> comprises all savage "theory" and covers all his "practical
> concerns"---we are led to ask, not without dismay: What remains
> outside it, what is the world of the "profane" in primitive
> life?")

Again I observe, following Douglas, that the view that "to the savage all is
religion" is a piece of evolutionist phantasy.

John McCreery
3-206 Mitsusawa HT, 25-2 Miyagaya, Nishi-ku Yokohama 220, JAPAN

"And the Lord said unto Cyrus, 'Shall the clay say to him who moldest it, what
makest thou? Let the potsherd of the earth speak to the potsherd of the earth."
--An anthropologist's credo

-------- REPLY, End of original message --------

Both you and Douglas, whomever he might be, are "talking through you hats".
Malinowski, of course, was right and you are wrong. Malinowski just didn't go
far enough; but, seeing that he was an anthropologist and not a philosopher,
that is understandable. Replace the word "savage" with "religious" and read it

Obviously, neither of you has ever known what it is like to be totally
committed to a religious persuasion. If you had, you would have known that
Malinowski was right. Not knowing what it is like, and not having his insight,
you decided that he was fantasizing, without having any grounds (except your
biases) for doing so. That's not very scientific, I'm afraid.

Jesse S. Cook III