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Titill

Anthropomorphism of belief: An attempt based on the works of Feuerbach, Freud and Guthrie

Útdráttur

The aim of this thesis is to explore the anthropomorphism of belief. The main questions are: Is a theory explicating religion on the grounds of anthropomorphism possible? How could one explain the need for belief and where it comes from? How does religion mirror fundamental aspects of being within the world? Theories explaining religion as anthropomorphism have been proposed, most noticeably and comprehensively, by Ludwig Feuerbach in his books, The Essence of Religion and The Essence of Christianity. Sigmund Freud, mainly in his works Totem and Taboo and The Future of an Illusion also claimed that religion is anthropomorphism. Recently, the anthropologist Stewart Guthrie proposed a theory of all religion as anthropomorphism in his book The Faces in the Clouds. Feuerbach suggests that humans project their attributes outwardly, which then comes to form religion. These attributes can be everything from personality, emotions, symbolism and particular qualities and forms of consciousness. Freud emphasizes that the need for religion stems from the longing for safety and protective comfort of childhood and respectively the child’s contradictory feelings towards his father as a figure of fear and protection. In this thesis the idea is proposed that the maternal womb as the source strong enough to justify the need which gives rise to belief. Guthrie focuses on the structures of perception and the way that the mind is based on patterns which it seeks in the phenomenal world. The intention here is to show that the mind reacts to patterns in a phenomenological way and that it is the form of the womb which the individual projects and comes to form a relationship with. In other words how the emotional connection to the womb is lost and sought for through a recreated form of the womb. In this thesis this form will be called the integument.

Birting
26.5.2009


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