Folk religion consists of ethnic or regional religious customs under the umbrella of a religion, but outside of official doctrine and practices. Folk religion has been defined as "the totality of all those views and practices of religion that exist among the people apart from and alongside the strictly theological and liturgical forms of the official religion."
The term "folk religion" is generally held to encompass two related but separate subjects. The first is the religious dimension of folk culture, or the folk-cultural dimensions of religion. The second refers to the study of syncretisms between two cultures with different stages of formal expression, such as the melange of African folk beliefs and Roman Catholicism that led to the development of Vodun and Santería, and similar mixtures of formal religions with folk cultures.
Chinese folk religion, Folk Christianity, Folk Hinduism, and Folk Islam are examples of folk religion associated with major religions. The term is also used, especially by the clergy of the faiths involved, to describe the desire of people who otherwise infrequently attend religious worship, do not belong to a church or similar religious society, and who have not made a formal profession of faith in a particular creed, to have religious weddings or funerals, or (among Christians) to have their children baptised.
Aspects of many, but not all, folk religions include:
- popular theophanies, and similar phenomena like Marian apparitions, originating outside the formal liturgy and hierarchy of the faiths in question.
- magical thinking
- protective qualities ascribed to religious objects like a particular copy of the Bible, Voodoo pouches, a crucifix, stones, crystals, eagle feathers, or any other "power" object.
- belief in traditional systems of magic (hoodoo, voodoo, pow-wow, Benedicaria, Palo Monte, Anito, Santería and Catimbó)
- rituals to ward off the Evil Eye, curses, demons, witchcraft, etc.
Other articles related to "folk religion, religion, folk, religions":
... to argue, in Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel (2005), for the persistence of the veneration of Asherah in the everyday religion of 'ordinary people' in ancient Israel ... between the 12th and the 8th centuries BC, Dever argued that this 'folk' religion, with its local altars and cultic objects, amulets and votive offerings, was representative of the outlook of the majority of ... has suggested that his use of the term 'folk religion' 'ultimately endorses the old stereotype of 'popular' or 'folk' religion as the simplistic practices of rural communities', so ...
... The Chinese folk religion has always maintained a profound influence ... Indigenous Confucianism and Taoism share aspects of being a philosophy or a religion, and neither demand exclusive adherence, resulting in a culture of tolerance and syncretism where multiple religions ... The Chinese folk religion is the set of worship traditions of the ethnic deities of the Han people ...
... a people has a central place in forming the Boer religion ... In this way, a distinctive folk character became attached to their Calvinistic beliefs ... This folk religion was not articulated in a formal way ...
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... as Buddhists, Taoists, or practitioners of Chinese folk religion ... Taoist religious practices with elements from Buddhism and folk traditions ... sutra-chanting groups (誦經團) in Taiwan, which combine Buddhist, Taoist and folk religious spirituality, chanting, and ritual ...
Famous quotes containing the words religion and/or folk:
“Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak ones soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood.”
—Josephine Baker (19061975)
“Myths, as compared with folk tales, are usually in a special category of seriousness: they are believed to have really happened, or to have some exceptional significance in explaining certain features of life, such as ritual. Again, whereas folk tales simply interchange motifs and develop variants, myths show an odd tendency to stick together and build up bigger structures. We have creation myths, fall and flood myths, metamorphose and dying-god myths.”
—Northrop Frye (19121991)