Sunday, January 20, 2008

Folk religion
Folk religion consists of beliefs, superstitions and rituals transmitted from generation to generation of a specific culture. It could be contrasted with the "organized religion" or "historical religion" in which founders, creed, theology and ecclesiastical organizations are present. Ethnic religion similarly refers to the religious practices particular to a certain ethnicity Folk religion and ethnic religion alike are characterized by the absence of proselytization, membership being as a rule equivalent to ethnicity.
The folk religion with the largest number of adherents is the Chinese folk religion, accounting for some 6% of world population. Various "primal indigenous" religions (animism, shamanism) account for another 4%, but elements of folk religion exist as part of all religious traditions and should be regarded as popular currents (as opposed to a theological or institutionalized) rather than as separate religions, so that folk religion like "superstition" is a truly endemic phenomenon present in every society.

Folk religion

"superstition"; rituals to ward off the Evil Eye, curses, demons, witchcraft etc.
amulets, protective qualities ascribed to religious objects like the Bible or a crucifix; hex signs
blessing of animals and crops (fertility rites), food, vehicles, buildings etc.
belief in traditional systems of magic (hoodoo, voodoo, pow-wow, Palo Monte and Santería)
ancestor worship
animism, or belief in spiritual beings associated with landscape or specific human domains (saints, demons, angels; in Christianity in particular various local forms of the Blessed Virgin Mary) Literature

civil religion
folk medicine
Deep England
Pre-Christian Alpine traditions
Ryukyuan religion
Shamanism in Siberia
Shamanism among Eskimo peoples
Korean shamanism

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