Cargo Cults and Millenarian Movements: Transoceanic by Garry W. Trompf

By Garry W. Trompf

The sequence Religion and Society (RS) contributes to the exploration of religions as social structures either in Western and non-Western societies; particularly, it examines religions of their differentiation from, and intersection with, different cultural platforms, corresponding to artwork, economic climate, legislation and politics. Due consciousness is given to paradigmatic case or comparative experiences that convey a transparent theoretical orientation with the empirical and ancient info of faith and such points of faith as ritual, the non secular mind's eye, structures of culture, iconography, or media. furthermore, the formation of spiritual groups, their building of id, and their relation to society and the broader public are key problems with this sequence.


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The answers to such questions do not come easily, but articles in this volume provide comparative analyses and points of orientation which help answer them. At least it has already been made clear in this introduction, moreover, that both millenarism and cargoism have bearing on the human condition in general. As Introduction 17 for the matter of comparing primitive and modem, and the applicability of 'obligatory' terms to the most diverse contexts, purists who prevaricate here should be reminded of the relativities in time, space and human valorization which suggest surprising comparability in the first place, and which also justify the very effort at comparative analysis as itself an exercise in common human (or intercultural) understanding.

A cargoistic ethos is one in which new commodities, and the extraordinary achievements of modern technology as manifest in new things and facilities (including money), become the paramount goal of visible human acquisitions, and take on increasing power to be the very surrogates of that biocosmic vitality or fecundity so crucial for traditional societies. The ethos, however, provides the ground in which both high hopes and frustrations are fertilized. In the Third World the great disparity between those who enjoy and those who lack the goods has been the pretext for protest activity from the tum of the century.

99ff. Cf. also R. Bastide, "Messianism and Social and Economic Development", in I. ), Social Change: the colonial situation, New York, London and Sydney, 1966, pp. 467ff. 11. g. , pp. J. Hollenweger, The Pentecostals, London, 1972, cf. G. Burton-Bradley, "Transcultural Psychiatry", in P. D. ), Handbook of Psychiatry, Los Angeles, 1974, pp. 659-660; R. 5. 12. Cf. S. cit. 13. Trompf, "The Future of Macro-Historical Ideas", in Soundings, 62/1 (1979), p. 80. 14. Considering the little that eventuated (by way of 'social spasms') in the year AD 1,000.

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