Web Resources

on Animism

In this article Murray Hunter gives example after example of the extent of animism throughout South-East Asia.

Dean Halverson provides a very helpful overview of animism. Headings: Definition, Why Understand Animism?, The Pervasiveness of Animism; The Attraction of Animism; Common Animistic Beliefs and Practices; Tables: Differences Between the Personal Spirit-Beings of Animism and the God of the Bible, Differences Between the Impersonal Spiritual Force of Animism and the God of the Bible, Animistic and Biblical Worldviews Contrasted; Approaching Animists: Suggestions for Evangelism.

In this article Chidester explains Tylor’s concept of animism, observing his assumptions of ‘dead’ matter and cultural evolution. For Tylor animism is the seedbed of all religious belief and involves the erroneous attribution of life, soul or spirit to inanimate objects.

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On Cerro Rico mountain in Bolivia 38 businesses run mines employing some 15,000 miners, including up to 400 children. Every one of these mines has a statue of El Tio, the Devil, in their tunnels. A mining boss, Grover, explains, “[El Tio] has horns because he is the god of the depths.” He adds, “Usually we gather here on Fridays to make offerings, in gratitude because he gave us lots of minerals, and so that he will protect us from accidents.” What is particularly disturbing, however, is this remark from Grover: “Outside the mines we are Catholics, and when we enter the mine, we worship the devil.” (Catharina Moh, BBC News Magazine). SIM missionaries have described exactly the same situation.

Prayercast has some basic information and an on-site video.

David Sitton recognises that the vast majority of the world’s inhabitants believe that ultimate reality is spiritual, not physical or material. He focuses on animism and its implications for spiritual warfare. Headings: Animism Defined; Animistic Beliefs in the US; Animistic Assumptions about Life; Animistic Concepts of Spiritual Power; The Controlling Emotion of Animistic Peoples; Controlling the Spirits; Spiritual Warfare in Tribal Contexts; The Reality and Nature of the Devil and his Legions; Spiritual Counter-Attack.

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