Essay on History: Religion and Polytheism

Words: 421
Pages: 2

ANIMISM This is the belief in a supernatural power that organizes and animates the material universe. The attribution of a soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena.

Animism is the belief that everything has a soul or spirit, an anima in Latin, including animals, plants, rocks, mountains, rivers, and stars. Animists believe each anima is a powerful spirit that can help or hurt them and are to be worshipped or feared or in some way attended to. Animism is a primitive religion whose adherents have for thousands of years deified animals, stars, and idols of any kind, and practiced spiritism, witchcraft, divination and astrology. They use magic, spells, enchantments, superstitions, amulets, talismans, charms, or anything that they believe will help to protect them from the evil spirits and placate the good spirits that are found everywhere in everything. Like modern man, primitive man feared the unknown; which included just about everything. Death, in particular, aroused speculation about the nature of life, which in turn led to the concept of the soul. Man extended the concept of soul to significant objects in his external world. This is known as animism.
Animism doesn't confer godliness and doesn't, of itself, constitute a religion. However, most religions stem from a belief in god(s), which in turn stems from a belief in souls. Fear of the unknown, especially death, brought gods into this world. Animals were undoubtedly among the first to be bestowed with souls by early man. Of these animals some were vital to man's survival. This key relationship led to man's next baby-step on the…