Religion: A Humanist Interpretation represents a lifetime's work on the anthropology of religion from a rather unusual personal viewpoint. Raymond Firth treats religion as a human art, capable of great intellectual and artistic achievements, but also of complex manipulation to serve the human interests of those who believe in it and operate it. His study is comparative, drawing material from a range of religions around the world. Its findings are a challenge to established beliefs. This anthropological approach to the study of religion covers themes ranging from; religious belief and personal adjustment; gods and God; offering and sacrifice;religion and politics; Malay magic and spirit mediumship; truth and paradox in religion.
This book first published in 1973 offers a broad survey of the study of symbolic ideas and behaviour. The study of symbolism is popular nowadays and anthropologists have made substantial contributions to it. Raymond Firth has long been internationally known for his field research in the Solomons and Malaysia, and for his theoretical work on kinship, economics and religion. Here from a new angle, he has produced a broad survey of the study of symbolic ideas and behaviour. Professor Firth examines definitions of symbol. He traces the history of scientific inquiry into the symbolism of religious cults, mythology and dreams back into the eighteenth century. He compares some modern approaches to ...
First published in 1967, this book gives some of the fruits of the author's study of Tikopia ways of thought as the result of three field expeditions. Most Polynesians became Christians more than a century ago but Tikopia had a substantial pagan population until quite recent years. This book of essays describes rites and beliefs of a people who still maintained their traditional institutions remote from civilization. Studies of totemism, of magic and of beliefs in the fate of the soul in the afterworld, not only throw new light on Polynesian attitudes but also contribute some novel ideas to the interpretation of standard theoretical problems in social anthropology. Studies of rumour, suicide, and a new essay on spirit mediumship, also provide links between social anthropology and psychology. A general review based on the author's visit in 1966 describes the modern position after the adoption of Christianity.
First published in 1929, Raymond Firth’s original and insightful study offers an incredibly detailed account of the social and economic organisation of the Maori people before their contact with Western civilisation. Bridging the gap between anthropology and economics, the work covers the class structure, land system, industry, methods of co-operative labour, exchange and distribution, and the psychological foundations of Maori society. This reissue will be welcomed by all students of anthropology and anyone interested the history of the Maori people.
A great classic of British anthropology, Primitive Polynesian Economy is structured as follows: · Problems of Primitive Economics · Food and Population in Tikopia · Knowledge, Technique and Economic Lore · The Labour Situation · Ritual in Productive Activity · Economic Functions of the Chiefs · Property and Capital in Production · Principles of Distribution and Payment · Exchange and Value · Characteristics of a Primitive Economy First published in 1939.
The social, political and economic impact of the decline of the old colonial powers in Africa, India and the Middle East are still key areas of scholarly research and debate. Based on careful social observation and empirical research, the titles in The Sociology of Development set of the International Library of Sociology explore the tension between agriculture and industry in developing economies, and trace the complex political process of independence. Aimed at administratores and academics, thse studies are central to Development Studies.
An illuminating introduction to the methods and problems of social anthropology, this book draws on a wide range of illustrations, including Raymond Firth's own experiences in New Zealand, Malaya and the Solomon Islands. The concept of social organisation is discussed with special reference to the role of individual choice and decision in social affairs and the nature of social change. Social organisation in relation to economic, aesthetic, moral and religious values is also examined. First published in 1951. This re-issue is of the third, 1961 edition.