Animism



the belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and the universe itself possess souls.
the belief that natural objects have souls that may exist apart from their material bodies.
the doctrine that the soul is the principle of life and health.
belief in spiritual beings or agencies.
Historical Examples

This represents a particular form of animism, for the soul of the ancestor is thought to become a god.
Elements of Folk Psychology Wilhelm Wundt

Now this is connected with the question of animism, preanimism, and dynanimism.
The Group Mind William McDougall

animism, or the conception of indwelling spirit, arises subsequently.
The Non-religion of the Future: A Sociological Study Jean-Marie Guyau

Dread of these leads to worship, fetichism, and animism, the beginning of religion.
The Wonders of Life Ernst Haeckel

animism is opposed to Science, as well as to Magic, by its rejection of uniformity.
The Origin of Man and of his Superstitions Carveth Read

Were this all, indeed, it would be on the same foot with Magic and animism; but it is not all.
The Origin of Man and of his Superstitions Carveth Read

If you like you may call the whole process by the name of animism.
Pagan & Christian Creeds Edward Carpenter

Nevertheless, the belief in animism has left some customs behind it.
The Evolution of Old Testament Religion W. E. Orchard

Here we are, for once, just as far from naturism as from animism.
The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life Emile Durkheim

See also bibliography to Possession, animism and other articles.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 2 Various

noun
the belief that natural objects, phenomena, and the universe itself have desires and intentions
(in the philosophies of Plato and Pythagoras) the hypothesis that there is an immaterial force that animates the universe
n.

1866, reintroduced by English anthropologist Sir Edward Burnett Taylor (1832-1917), who defined it (1871) as the “theory of the universal animation of nature,” from Latin anima “life, breath, soul” (see animus) + -ism.

Earlier sense was of “doctrine that animal life is produced by an immaterial soul” (1832), from German Animismus, coined c.1720 by physicist/chemist Georg Ernst Stahl (1660-1734) based on the concept of the anima mundi. Animist is attested from 1819, in Stahl’s sense; animisic is first recorded 1871.
animism [(an-uh-miz-uhm)]

The belief that natural objects such as rivers and rocks possess a soul or spirit. Anima is the Latin word for “soul” or “spirit.” (See voodoo.)
animism [(an-uh-miz-uhm)]

The belief, common among so-called primitive people, that objects and natural phenomena, such as rivers, rocks, and wind, are alive and have feelings and intentions. Animistic beliefs form the basis of many cults. (See also fetish and totemism.)

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