Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol 6, No 1 (2012)

Anthropology of Religion and Environment: A Skeletal History to 1970

E. N. Anderson
Issued Date: 11 Apr 2012


Anthropology developed from strains of Platonic and Aristotelian thought, especially as mediated through the works of Immanuel Kant and Adam Smith, respectively. Early anthropologists included Smithians such as Lewis Henry Morgan, who usually tended to downplay the importance of religion, and Kantians such as Franz Boas and Claude Lévi-Strauss, who foregrounded it. Views of religion included seeing it as ‘failed science’, explaining the world; intense transcendent experience; ‘collective representation of the community’ (Durkheim); complex social symbolism that can be interpreted; and, most salient to the concerns of this journal, a social institution that serves (among other things) to regulate management of the environment, stressing long-term considerations. This last allows a harmonious fusion of Platonic and Aristotelian ideas.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/jsrnc.v6i1.9


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email:

Privacy Policy