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2016-02-17 21:02


Everything has a beginning; however, explaining it can be difficult.  The beginnings of the universe or life are examples. They have many theories to try and explain how it all started.  There are theories on one origin we are all familiar with; the origin of religion. A myriad of theories were developed in the 19th century to try to explain the origin of religion. One theory was developed by Edward Tylor, he mentioned one theory in his book Primitive Culture, this theory was Animism. Animism argues that all things in nature have a soul and body. This theory can be further described as a belief of souls and more spiritual existences. Because Tylor argued that the early man thought ‘life’ and ‘phantom’ were apparitions belonging to the same soul, the idea of souls as ghosts became an idea.  This theory was what he believed sparked the more evolved beliefs and religions we have today.  However, to explain the reason why some of these things were controlled by a god or goddess was something that Tylor could not explain.  Animism doesn’t entirely explain everything and doesn’t provide much evidence for the origin of religion, which is why it remains a theory.  

Because Animism sets the belief that all natural things have souls, this includes any non-living things. A cloud would have a soul so it may float across the sky, or a waterfall’s soul is the reason the water pours down.  This basic thought and belief was the explanation as to why things in nature do what they do.  James Frazer had produced this idea in The Golden Bough. In this early time of man, the worship of Gods or one God began.

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