In five pages various religious characteristics such as totemism, shamanism, divination, and attitudes regarding the dead, are examined. Seven sources are cited in the bibliography.
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may argue that magic has nothing to do with Christianity, if one looks at the Catholic church from a certain perspective one could clearly argue that the taking of the
Eucharist is clearly a magical ritual. Each religion, in essence, possesses characteristics that are not dissimilar to other religions. Bearing that in mind the following paper examines some of the
characteristics of religions of the world. The paper discusses magic, shamanism, divination, belief in mana, animism, attitudes towards the dead, and totemism. Most cultures of the world have religious
beliefs that supernatural powers can be compelled, or at least influenced, to act in certain ways for good or evil purposes by using ritual formulas. These formulas are, in
a sense, magic. By performing certain magical acts in a particular way, crops might be improved, game herds replenished, illness cured or avoided, animals and people made fertile.
This is very different from television and stage "magic" that depends on slight-of-hand tricks and contrived illusions rather than supernatural power. Magic Magic is, in many ways, just what
we assume it is. It is an element that speaks of powers that exist beyond the powers of man, or the average man. In many instances it is argued that
there are two different types of magic as it relates to religions of the world. There is sympathetic magic and contagious magic. "Sympathetic magic is based on the principle that
like produces like. For instance, whatever happens to an image of someone will also happen to them" (ONeil, 2002; rel_5.htm). This is the foundation for religious involvement such as
Voodoo religion. "Contagious magic is based on the principle that things or persons once in contact can afterward influence each other. In other words, it is believed that there