Over the course of these last few lessons, I have become more familiar with the reality of “world religions’’ and its origins. My understanding of the world religions category went from a very simple category of religions to a whole concept made by Europeans to categorize non-european worlds and cultures. This thinking created the “major religions” and this led to the way we exclude “minor religions” and how they are negatively affected by this system.
Wenger’s discussion on defining religion opened up a world for native cultures and traditions to be categorized as a religion. This can be seen in the example of the Pueblo peoples appeals for freedom; they used the western understanding of religious practices to justify the legality of their dances. This shows us even more how tied in religion and culture are.
I was really amazed to see how more major social studies like sociology and economics came from trying to understand the “West”. Even more strange was the way we use “economics” to understand the west, but use “anthropology” to understand non-west countries and regions. The postcolonialism was a little harder to wrap my head around and would be open to talking about that much more with the class.