I have some trouble understanding animism religion. Could you help me?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Animism is the word used to refer to a collection of beliefs and organizing worldviews in which the natural (material) world is animated by spirit. Animism can be contrasted to dualism, a set of beliefs and worldviews in which human beings are endowed with a spirit/soul, and other members of the natural world (such as plants, rocks and animals) lack a spirit/soul. Animism is generally associated with traditional worldviews, and is common among nomadic and pastoral cultures; whereas spiritual dualism is generally associated with post-agricultural, industrial cultures. However, it is important to recognize that these generalizations are not universally true; rather, they represent a culturally-specific academic way of organizing and labeling peoples and communities. Certainly, animistic features can be found among industrial communities' worldviews, and more dualistic notions can be found within the worldviews of aboriginal peoples. 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team