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      Religion is Not an Epiphenomenon : W.E.H. Stanner, On Aboriginal Religion (1959-1963)

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          Abstract

          In NTT JTSR’s series on Key Texts, W.E.H. Stanner’s On Aboriginal Religion (1959-1963) cannot be missed. It is a crucial text in the study of religion that merits renewed attention. The text concerns the Murinbata (now: Murrinh-patha) of north Australia. The Murinbata consider life, according to Stanner, “A joyful thing with maggots at the centre.” Stanner’s text on Aboriginal religion forms the main part of his exploration of Aboriginal High Culture. He offers a fundamental critique of Durkheim’s The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life and argues that Aboriginal religion has to be studied in its own right. Stanner uses the word “everywhen” to capture the Aboriginal worldview, the Dreamtime.

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          Most cited references42

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          The elementary forms of the religious life

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            The family among the Australian aborigines : A sociological study

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              A Black Civilization: a Social Study of an Australian Tribe

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                NTT
                NTT Journal for Theology and the Study of Religion
                Amsterdam University Press (Amsterdam )
                2542-6583
                2590-3268
                June 2023
                : 77
                : 2
                : 96-111
                Affiliations
                Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
                Article
                NTT2023.2.003.VENB
                10.5117/NTT2023.2.003.VENB
                a82523d4-7fb8-4d50-ad1d-c7d61949a7bc
                © Eric Venbrux
                History
                Categories
                Key Text

                sui generis,Aboriginal religion,everywhen,Dreamtime,Murinbata (Murrinh-patha),High Culture

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