Answer three (3) questions in essay form. Each question should be at least two (2) pages in length, double-spaced, 12 pt. font. The total length of the essay should be 6-8 pages.
1. E. B. Tylor (in 1871) and to some degree James Frazer (1890-1915) articulated what we can call the first attempt to give an anthropological (in the modern sense of the term) account of religion. First, how do their accounts differ, for example, from the Enlightenment’s naturalistic explanation of and attitude toward religion? Secondly, do Tylor and Frazer agree that religion must in the end disappear and yield to modern science as a better explanation of reality; and if so, was religion ever an explanation of reality to them at all?)? And Thirdly, what was specifically Tylor’s way of understanding religion and how does Frazer’s understanding of religion go beyond Tylor’s (i.e. does Frazer contribute anything new)? (To answer this question you must carefully read the chapter on “Tylor and Frazer in Pals.)
4. Emile Durkheim offered a major interpretation of religion that rivaled Tylor’s and Frazer’s in depth and in many ways surpassed them in influence. 1. Explain Durkheim’s interpretation and analysis of religion. 2. Explain how Durkheim’s analysis is similar to Marx’s (and Feuerbach’s), and ways in which it is different. 3. Is Durkheim’s analysis of religion continuous (in sync) with the Enlightenment (Hume, Reimarus), or does it significantly go beyond the Enlightenment? (For this question you must read carefully the chapter on Durkheim in Pals, as well my lectures on Marx, Feuerbach, and Strauss.)
5. Discuss Marx’s thesis, building on the work of Feuerbach and Hegel (as Hegel was interpreted by Feuerbach) that religion is a major obstacle to the emancipation of humanity from superstition and oppression, that religion has been a major force in legitimizing and justifying the conquest of subjugation of peoples in the name of their god and religion. Is Marx’s critique of religion for the most part correct, partially correct, or too simplistic (black and white) to be right? (You must read the Marx selection in Pals, and I strongly recommend that you read the Feuerbach selection posted on Canvas as well.) Chapter 10: “Views of the Human Problem,” will be most helpful with this topic.