DYNAMISM . In philosophy, dynamism is "the system, theory, or doctrine which seeks to explain the phenomena of the universe by some immanent force or energy" (Oxford English Dictionary). In the study of religion, dynamism is the theoretical viewpoint that finds a universal, immanent force or energy underlying—either logically or chronologically—all religious (and/or magical) beliefs, practices, and forms of association. This viewpoint has also been known as animatism, preanimism, dynamistic preanimism, and, very occasionally, predeism.
Religious dynamism received its most precise theoretical formulation at the beginning of the twentieth century, especially in the writings of R. R. Marett, Konrad T. Preuss, and Marcel Mauss. It contributed to the waning of the evolutionistic animism then prevalent and exerted a great deal of influence on both the study of religions generally and the study of certain cultural areas, but in the end it succumbed to criticism. In its classic form it finds no advocates today. Some of its elements, however, persist with varying degrees of vitality.
Dynamism was formulated as a theoretical alternative to other proposed theories on the origin of religion. Its conceptual configurations took shape from contemporary general attitudes toward religion and other human cultural phenomena, from current theories against which it reacted, and from ethnographic data that had surfaced in the nineteenth century.
Nineteenth-century thought on religion was dominated, by and large, by the idea of evolution, its procedures by a historical, generally noncontextual comparison of surface features arranged in logical progression. Each of the several theories advanced along these lines took its name from the stage of religion it posited as earliest: fetishism, naturism, totemism, manism, animism, and so forth.
Dynamism reacted most directly to the view that at its earliest, religion comprised a belief in a multitude of supernatural, personal beings with whom human beings interacted. The most popular such theory, first formulated by the British ethnologist E. B. Tylor in Primitive Culture (1873), counted both human souls and independent spirits among those beings, and was called animism (from the Latin anima; hence "preanimism"). In developing his theory, Tylor deliberately neglected emotion in favor of intellect. In his view, animistic beliefs were originally explanatory: the belief in souls explained phenomena such as life and death, dreams, and apparitions; spirits formed elements in a full-blown theory of personal causation. A similar theory, manism, proposed by the British social thinker Herbert Spencer (Principles of Sociology, 1876), derived all higher religious forms from a belief in ghosts (manes). The work of James G. Frazer stood in a more ambiguous relation to dynamism. On the one hand, R. R. Marett called The Golden Bough the greatest compendium of preanimistic phenomena ever compiled. On the other, many of Frazer's interpretations were held suspect. Frazer conceived a stepwise development between religion and magic. In discussing magic, he emphasized external, immutable, and mechanical sequences of events, or laws, disregarding any possible efficient cause. Taboo he saw as a form of negative magic, while religion developed in the wake of magic's failure and posited the existence of potent superhuman beings whose wills one had to propitiate.
Principles of evolution and the common identification of modern nonliterate civilizations with prehistoric culture made the wealth of ethnographic material then becoming available to Western thinkers essential to all middle to late nineteenth-century theories of religion. Frazer's "magical stage" showed that not all ethnographic material fit an animistic or manistic model. For the dynamistic theories, the most important single ethnographic datum was the Melanesian word mana, bequeathed to the Western scholarly world by R. H. Codrington's The Melanesians (1891). Codrington spoke of mana as "a force altogether distinct from physical power, which acts in all kinds of ways for good or evil, and which it is of the greatest advantage to possess and control" (p. 118, n. 1). The American ethnologist Alice C. Fletcher had already spoken of "Sioux" religion in similar terms.
Some writers surpassed ethnography to anticipate features of the dynamistic theories. Apparently writing in ignorance of Marett's proposed animatism, J. N. B. Hewitt noted that a notion of magical potency was common among North American Indians. He suggested that the Iroquois word orenda was suited to denote this notion, and on it he based a definition of religion. Hewitt did not openly oppose other theories, nor did he set his definition in the context of further reflections on religion. Nonetheless, his article significantly influenced the development of dynamism on the European continent.
By contrast, John H. King's earlier work, The Supernatural (1892), lay in obscurity until Wilhelm Schmidt brought it to scholarly attention. King derived all religion from a sense of luck or chance. But he posited an intervening stage between this initial period and a later, more manistic one, an era of religion centered on nonpersonal, all-pervasive power, such as mana, wakan (Lakota), or boylya (Australia).
Classic Dynamistic Theories
Evolutionary thought can integrate evidence incompatible with previously formulated developmental schemes very economically by postulating further, formerly unrecognized developmental stages. These stages assume their preferred places at the beginning of developmental series. Insertion at the initial position allows the rest of the series to remain relatively undisturbed and at the same time claims the greatest possible significance for the newly posited stage or stages.
At the end of the nineteenth century, two new theories sought to redress the inadequacies of evolutionistic animism by assigning it a derivative position. One theory, first voiced by Andrew Lang in 1898, argued, mostly on historical-ethnographic grounds, that religion originally centered not on a multitude of spirits but on a supreme creator invoked to explain the existence of the cosmos. The other, dynamism, first enunciated by Marett, combined logic with certain ethnographic data to postulate not a preanimistic superpersonal deity but a preanimistic, nonpersonal power or, as it was commonly called, mana. Nevertheless, some dynamists, Marett among them, advanced only cautious evolutionary claims. They saw mana as logically primitive but not necessarily as temporally prior to the idea of deity.
In addition to the common emphasis on power as constitutive of religion, dynamistic theories shared several other characteristics. First, they denigrated the mental abilities of peoples at the dynamistic stage (the primitives). On the one hand, most abandoned the intellectualist orientation and considered religion a matter not so much of individual belief as of collective processes and actions prompted by collective emotion. Whether emotionalist or not, they generally denied that primitives were capable of, or interested in, the causal thought that Tylor and Frazer required of them. On the other hand, those who spoke of a universally pervasive power were forced to admit that primitives did not clearly conceive of power as such. These scholars often claimed to work out logically the notion of power implicit in primitive speech and action.
Second, dynamistic theories softened the sharp distinction between religion and magic that Frazer, among others, had postulated. The force underlying religious and magical practices was identical. In addition, dynamists usually balked when others based the separation of religion and magic on a distinction between coercion and propitiation. In their view, religious and magical acts alike could be coercive, propitiatory, or both simultaneously. When a distinction was made, dynamists tended instead to distinguish magic from religion—not altogether satisfactorily—on grounds of the agent's moral or social position (good versus bad intent, communal versus individual acts). Third, dynamistic theories envisioned taboos not as the result of cognitive imaginings about causal processes but as a reaction to immanent but fearful power.
By definition, dynamistic theories equate power with the beginning or most elementary form of religion. But the classic dynamistic theories did not all conceive of power in identical terms. For Marett, power was an aspect of the supernatural, manifested as the extraordinary and inexplicable. It evoked emotions, especially awe, that impelled those who encountered it to attempt to establish relations with it. Marett distinguished positive and negative modes of the supernatural: mana (the supernatural has power) and taboo (power may be harmful; be heedful of it). He imagined development proceeding from the undifferentiated and indistinct to the differentiated and distinct, and for him it made sense to distinguish magic and religion only on a more developed, moral level.
A second view was expressed by Preuss, in his highly influential article "Der Ursprung der Religion und Kunst." For Preuss, "supernatural" and "mystical" carried connotations of the spiritual, the animistic. As a result, unlike Marett, he posited at the initial stage of human development a distinctly nonmystical, efficacious power believed to reside in all objects, both animate and inanimate, and to operate in all activities, both those we consider magical and those we consider natural. Human actions with regard to this power were prompted by the intellect, or rather, by the so-called Urdummheit ("primal stupidity") of humanity transcending the bounds of instinct. In Preuss's view, this power was originally differentiated; the idea of a universal, indwelling power such as orenda developed late. The gods, Preuss thought, were in origin only natural objects of special magical efficacy. Thus, he derived religion (which he identified with a concern for gods) from the era of magic.
A third view was expressed by Mauss in his General Theory of Magic. Unlike Marett's and Preuss's notions, Mauss's power (he called it mana ) was neither supernatural nor natural, but social and unconscious. Originating in collective emotions and impulses, mana consisted of society's relative values and differences in potential. It undergirded both religious and magical practices, which Mauss distinguished only with difficulty, and at the unconscious level it was universal and undifferentiated. But it was not opposed to differentiated representations. It called them into existence and provided a field for their operation. In the realm of magic (on which Mauss's work focused), differentiated representations occurred in three forms: the abstractly impersonal (laws of sympathy), the concretely impersonal (differentiated potentials), and the personal (demons).
Elaboration and Application
In the ensuing years, several writers expressed and expounded dynamistic views. Differences between various notions of power persisted, inherited in part along national lines, but no new major, theoretical positions developed. In England, for example, E. Sidney Hartland synthesized and refined a variety of positions but made no significant theoretical contributions of his own. Alfred Vierkandt sought to refine Preuss's views by prefacing his initial era of magic with a premagical stage and by supplementing the intellectual confusion of subjectivity and objectivity that Preuss saw underlying magic with a similar practical and affective confusion. But these were essentially modifications in detail.
In general, those with dynamistic leanings seemed bent on (rather superficially) conciliating rather than adjudicating differing views of power. For example, Émile Durkheim and Lucien Lévy-Bruhl maintained that Preuss's magical and intellectualist orientations, respectively, differed more in language than in substance from religious or magico-religious and emotionalist views. At heart, dynamism remained the simple assertion that in origin or in essence religion was a complex of acts and beliefs centering on a reified, autonomous, efficacious, quasi-substantive power residing in all objects, whether that power was differentiated or universal, and whether or not the practitioners themselves formed any clear ideas about it.
Dynamistic views influenced many areas of the study of religion outside theoretical ethnology. In these areas, too, different dynamistic heritages were displayed clearly. But in general writers did not appreciate and often did not discuss the different possible notions of power. In attempts to increase dynamism's scope and adequacy, some even took the movement toward conciliation one step further, combining dynamistic views with other theories.
In the human studies, for example, Durkheim linked dynamism above all with totemism. For him, mana was the imperative force of society manifested (more or less) as the totemic principle, while the soul was mana individualized. Thus, the soul was conceptually, though probably not temporally, posterior to mana. Not surprisingly, the philosopher Lévy-Bruhl developed his notion of "primitive mentality" in what came to be a clearly dynamistic context. Lévy-Bruhl thought that the primitive felt rather than represented (i.e., conceived) an all-pervasive, ever-dynamic "essential reality, both one and multiple, both material and spiritual" (Lévy-Bruhl, 1966, pp. 16–17). In the history of religions proper, Nathan Söderblom outlined three constituents of primitive religion: animism, mana, and a belief in a primitive "originator" (Urheber). Rather more exclusively dynamistic, Gerardus van der Leeuw made power the center of his phenomenology of religion.
Those who reflected more concretely on religion also applied dynamistic insights. Somewhat like Söderblom, Marett's student E. O. James discovered in his study of Australia that the impersonal power at the center of religion was manifested in animatistic, animistic, and anthropomorphic forms even at the primitive level. Summarizing a decade of intense dynamistic influence on North American ethnology, Franz Boas's article on religion in the Handbook of American Indians made the belief in magical power, with varying degrees of individualization and personification, "one of the fundamental [religious] concepts that occur among all Indian tribes" (Boas, 1910, p. 366).
Descriptions of literate cultures also found dynamistic formulations useful. John Abbott, a bachelor of Oxford in the British civil service, wrote a lengthy description of Indian practices that interpreted śakti as the Indian equivalent of mana, manifested in the positive and negative forms of puṇya ("merit") and pāpa ("evil"). In the second quarter of the twentieth century, H. J. Rose refused to assign priority to either dynamism or animism in discussing the earliest religion of the Greeks, but his treatment of early Roman religion was thoroughly dynamistic, equating the Latin numen with mana and Latin sacer with tabu.
On the Wane
The combination of the dynamist viewpoint with others could not forestall criticism. Because awareness of developments in anthropology and the history of religions has always varied, dynamism waned more slowly in some areas than in others. Eventually, however, several critiques devastated the classic dynamistic formulations.
The ethnographic and linguistic critique not only opposed dynamism's genetic or essential universality; it questioned whether the notion of an impersonal, fluid power was at all appropriate to the cultures to which it had been ascribed. For both major areas supplying dynamists with ethnographic material, this critique began in 1914. Paul Radin, reviewing the writings of the Americanists Hewitt, Fletcher, William Jones, John R. Swanton, and Boas, noted the common appearance of personal beings in their accounts and suggested that they had been misled by the North American Indians' lack of concern for a supernatural being's precise form. After surveying the cultures of several Polynesian islands—mana is as much a Polynesian as a Melanesian concept—Arthur M. Hocart contradicted not Codrington's accounts so much as the theorists' allegations that mana was nonpersonal and constantly evoked an emotional response. Radin characterized North American religions as "Tylorian animism"; Hocart declared mana to be "out and out spiritualistic." Later scholars would modify both characterizations.
A second critique, the historical, did not question dynamistic interpretations of mana but did doubt mana 's place as the foundation of all religion. Nineteenth-century evolutionary thought had been content to establish developmental stages from a logic of forms. The early twentieth century witnessed efforts to establish the connections among nonliterate societies historically. When applied to Oceania, both Schmidt's culture-historical approach and A. Capell's historical linguistics led to the conclusion that, far from being primary, mana actually belonged to the youngest cultural stratum.
A third critique addressed the presupposed orientation of religious beliefs and practices that underlay dynamistic views. This took two forms, structural-functional and semantic-symbolic. With Preuss, many dynamists held that all behavior was actual and effective, directly aimed at fostering life. Symbolism arose only when acts that had been conservatively preserved were no longer believed to be actually efficacious. Structural functionalists rejected the dynamists' assimilation of religious acts to technical acts and looked not to purpose but to hidden function in explaining ritual's preservation. Bronislaw Malinowski conceived of religious observances as the "cement of the social fabric" (Malinowski, 1948, p. 50), magic as the result of a psychophysiological mechanism to allay anxieties in the face of dangerous human impotence. Because magical power resided in human beings, Malinowski felt that any theory seeking the essence of magic in a power of nature (mana) was totally misdirected. A. R. Radcliffe-Brown sought to avoid the distinction between magic and religion and saw rituals as expressions of common sentiments essential to an orderly social life, but he felt no compulsion to reduce common social values and sentiments to a reified, efficacious power.
The roots of the semantic-symbolic critique lay in the aftermath of World War I. Europe's search for meaning revitalized the symbol, first among theologians, philosophers, and litterateurs, later among historians of religions, anthropologists, and other students of humanity. In a critique of preanimism and certain animistic and theistic notions, the German anthropologist Adolf E. Jensen completely reversed Preuss's notion. In Jensen's view, practices arise as semantically full expressions. Over time, symbolic contexts change and a state of application sets in. Practices then become semantically depleted. They are conceived as some variety of purposive act. Thus, both structural-functional and semantic-symbolic critiques relegated to the interpretive sidelines the purposive orientation on which dynamistic notions were based.
Dynamism lingered longest, it seems, in discussions of Roman religion. In contrast to the situation at the turn of the century, classics and anthropology were not closely related after World War I. In a critique of H. J. Rose, Georges Dumézil employed each of the three arguments leveled at classic dynamism. Citing the practice of baptism, Dumézil warned scholars not to mistake symbolic acts for efficacious ones. He intensively examined rituals, sayings, and terms such as numen to show the extent to which dynamistic interpretations strain the evidence. Finally, he noted that personal gods were inherited from the time of the Indo-European migrations; hence it made no historical sense to posit a strictly Roman predeistic period.
Today, classic theories of dynamism exert virtually no influence in the study of religion or anthropology. Descriptive failures and the results and limits of historical work have contributed to the disregard not only of dynamism but of all evolutionary theories. Furthermore, the semantic-symbolic view of religion that dominates at present, again in combination with descriptive failings, has made dynamism's nonevolutionary side unappealing. Nonetheless, several dynamistic elements, now removed from their former theoretical context, float dispersed throughout the study of religion.
Of these, the least important is probably the name about which the theories congealed. Dynamism (often used in the plural, dynamisms ) now refers blandly to the changes characteristic of religious phenomena. In this usage, change has lost its purposive, effective character and arouses no desire to identify an efficient cause. Some scholars, such as Ugo Bianchi, use the term in combating what they see as a falsely static view of religion, promoted particularly by phenomenological investigations (The History of Religions, Leiden, 1975). But in such a case, the term dynamism(s) refers to a characteristic of the metaphysical background against which all religious phenomena necessarily stand forth. It says little about religion itself.
More important are the continuing investigations of the original ethnographic materials upon which the dynamists built. Some phenomena still seem actually to permit a quasidynamistic interpretation. Of impersonal power, Åke Hultkrantz writes, "Orenda is one of the most convincing proofs of such a conception that can be found" (Hultkrantz, 1983, p. 39). But later dynamists, such as Hartland, had already recognized that mana could not be adequately described as impersonal. More recently, Julian Pitt-Rivers has built especially on fieldwork by Raymond Firth in interpreting mana in the light of political anthropology, as exemplifying the sacred dimension that must be included in any comparative study of political power.
Perhaps most important, however, is the notion of power in the study of religion. Even such a convinced symbolist as Mircea Eliade has stated that "every hierophany is a kratophany" (Eliade, 1960, p. 126). Eliade interprets power ontologically. For him it refers to what is real (sacred) and "therefore efficacious, fecund, fertile" (p. 129). Eliade also cautions students of religion to keep several points in mind: the particular conception of power denoted by mana is not universal; power is not the whole of religion; and kratophanies exhibit differences in degree and frequency.
The analysis of religious power requires a more subtle approach than the dynamists ever developed, an approach that abandons the evolutionistic and narrowly essentialistic concerns of classic dynamism and that does not treat power monolithically, as an impersonal, all-pervading, efficacious essence. For years the problem lay dormant, apart from rather isolated comments such as Eliade's. Today, there are signs of an inchoate resurgence of interest in questions of religious power as found in both literate cultures, such as India, and nonliterate cultures. The new interest derives in part from a general reaction to radically synchronic and semantic structuralist interpretations. In time it may gain strength, if a general concern with praxis and power replaces the current widespread concern with meaning, as it has to some extent done already. At present, discussions of religious power are limited to particularist accounts of varying scope, usually informed by some degree of theoretical reflection in anthropology or similar fields. It is impossible to predict whether these discussions will continue to flourish, to what extent they will contribute to a new, general vision of religion, and what insights, if any, such a general vision might share with classical dynamism.
Surveys of dynamism or of the views of individual dynamist theorists, more or less extensive, are available in a large number of works written from a great variety of perspectives. The following are, perhaps, most useful or most readily available. Henri Pinard de la Boullaye's L'étude compareé des religions, vol. 1, Son histoire dans le monde occidental, 4th ed. (Paris, 1929), is an early work but a good bibliographical source that sets "dynamistic preanimism" in a detailed contest. Wilhelm Schmidt's The Origin and Growth of Religion: Facts and Theories, translated by H. J. Rose (1931; reprint, New York, 1972), is a detailed critique but is limited by subsuming dynamism under the category of "magism," by too facile a distinction between intellectual, emotional, and volitional theories, and by the author's thoroughly polemical concerns. Robert H. Lowie's The History of Ethnological Theory (New York, 1937) is sensitive to issues of historical ethnology and "primitive rationality," sympathetic to both Tylor and Marett, but scathing in its attacks upon Frazer. E. E. Evans-Pritchard's Theories of Primitive Religion (Oxford, 1965), a more recent account, discusses its subject in terms of psychological theories, both intellectualist and emotionalist, and sociological theories. Jan de Vrie's Perspectives in the History of Religion, tranlsated by Kees W. Bolle (Berkley, 1977), is readily available but annoying because it dismisses many theories simply on the grounds that they are "arbitrary." Eric J. Sharpe's Comparitive Religion: A History (London, 1975) is a useful survey that highlights personal biography as much as theoretical reflection.
Standard works by dynamistic theorists include R. R. Marett's The Threshold of Religion (London, 1909), a collection of his most important articles on dynamism; Konrad T. Preuss's "Der Ursprung der Religion und Kunst," Globus 86 (1904): 321–327, 355–363, 375–379, 388–392 and 87 (1905): 333–337, 347–350, 380–384, 394–400, 413–419, which builds especially on the author's fieldwork in Mexico; Marcel Mauss's A General Theory of Magic, translated by Robert Brain (London, 1972); E. Sidney Hartland's Ritual and Belief: Studies in the History of Religion (London, 1914); Alfred Vierkandt's "Die Anfänge der Religion und Zauberei,"Globus 92 (1907): 21–25, 40–45, 61–65; and E. O. James's Primitive Ritual and Belief: An Anthropological Essay (London, 1917). John H. King's The Supernatural: Its Origin, Nature and Evolution, 2 vols. (London, 1892), is as interested in modern occultism as in the history of religions.
R. H. Codrington's definition of mana cited in the text was quoted already by F. Max Müller in the Hibbert Lectures of 1878 (from a letter by Codrington to Müller). Codrington's views on mana were most widely dispersed by his The Melanesians (1891; reprint, New Haven, 1957). Subsequently, mana has evoked a large critical literature, including Arthur M. Hocart's "Mana," Man 14 (June 1914): 46–47; Julius Röhr's "Das Wesen des Mana," Anthropos 14/15 (1919–1920): 97–124; F. R. Lehmann's Mana, der Begriff des "ausserordentlich wirkungsvollen" bei Südseevölkern (Leipzig, 1922); Ian Hogbin's "Mana," Oceania 6 (March 1936): 241–274; A. Capell's "The Word 'Mana' Linguistic Study," Oceania 9 (September 1938): 89–96; Raymond Firth's "An Analysis of Mana: An Empirical Approach,"Journal of the Polynesian Society 49 (1940): 483–510, reprinted in his Tikopia Ritual and Belief (Boston, 1967), pp. 174–194 (mana as the ability to succeed, and, at the same time, successful results in areas of vital human interest beyond the capabilities of normal human effort and by divine gift); and, of more comparative than ethnographic interest, Julian Pitt-Rivers's Mana: An Inaugural Lecture (London, 1974), which discusses mana in connection with Mediterranean notions of honor and grace.
Early comments of a dynamistic flavor by Alice C. Fletcher are quoted in J. Owen Dorsey's "A Study of Siouan Cults," Bureau of American Ethnology, Annual Report 11 (1889–1890): 434–435; see also Fletcher's article "Wakonda" in the Handbook of American Indians, part 2, edited by Frederick W. Hodge (Washington, D. C., 1910). J. N. B. Hewitt's influential views on orenda were expounded in "Orenda and a Definition of Religion," American Anthropologist, n. s. 4 (1902): 33–46. Other works that interpreted North American religions in terms of impersonal power include William Jones's "The Algonkin Manitou," Journal of American Folk-Lore 18 (1905): 183–190; John R. Swanton's Social Condition, Beliefs, and Linguistic Relationship of the Tlingit Indians, "Bureau of American Ethnology, Annual Report," vol. 26 (Washington, D. C., 1907), see especially page 451, note c; and Franz Boas's "Religion," in the Handbook of American Indians, part 2, edited by Frederick W. Hodge (Washington, D. C., 1910), pp. 365–371. Paul Radin takes these theorists to task in his "Religion of the North American Indians," Journal of American Folk-Lore 27 (1914): 335–373. For an assessment of Radin's views, and for a survey of this interpretation of American Indian religions in a broader context, see Åke Hultkrantz's The Study of American Indian Religions, edited by Christopher Vecsey, (New York, 1983); see especially "Indian Religious Concepts," pp. 39–46.
Émile Durkheim discusses mana and the totemic principle in The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, translated by Joseph Ward Swain (1915; reprint, New York, 1965). Lucien Lévy-Bruhl's notion of the primitive's prelogical participation in a homogeneous world is perhaps most easily accessible in his Primitive Mentality, translated by Lilian A. Clare (New York, 1923); his introduction to The 'Soul' of the Primitive, translated by Lilian A. Clare (1928; reprint, New York, 1966) quite clearly endows his views on prelogical mentality with a dynamistic slant. For the other authors cited as applying dynamistic insights, see Nathan Söderblom's Das Werden des Gottesglaubens: Untersuchungen über die Anfänge der Religion, 2d rev. ed., edited by Heinrich Karl Stübe (Leipzig, 1926); Gerardus van der Leeuw's Religion in Essence and Manifestation, 2 vols., translated by J. E. Turner (1938; reprint, Gloucester, Mass., 1967); John Abbott's The Keys of Power: A Study of Indian Ritual and Belief (1932; reprint, Secaucus, N. J., 1974); and H. J. Rose's Ancient Greek Religion (London, 1946) and Ancient Roman Religion (London, 1948).
Critiques of dynamistic views may be found in the later studies of Oceania and North America cited above. In the well-known Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922; reprint, New York, 1953), Bronislaw Malinowski speaks of mana as figuring largely in all magical practices and beliefs. Only a few years later, however, in the title essay (1925) of Magic, Science, and Religion and Other Essays (New York, 1948), he finds dynamistic theories to be "pointing altogether in the wrong direction." A. R. Radcliffe-Brown discusses clearly his rejection of the search for origins and of culture-history in favor of "meaning" and "function" in the preface to the 1933 edition of his The Andaman Islanders (1922; Glencoe, Ill., 1948); for his interpretation of religion and magic, see especially Structure and Function in Primitive Society: Essays and Addresses (London, 1952), chapter 7, "Taboo" (1939), and chapter 8, "Religion and Society" (1945). The other critiques of dynamism mentioned in the text may be found in Adolf E. Jensen's Myth and Cult among Primitive Peoples, translated by Marianna Tax Choldin and Wolfgang Weissleder (Chicago, 1963), and Georges Dumézil's Archaic Roman Religion, 2 vols., translated by Philip Krapp (Chicago, 1970), especially the preliminary remarks and chapter 3, "The Most Ancient Roman Religion: Numen or Deus ?," pp. 18–31.
For Mircea Eliade's views on power, see especially Myths, Dreams and Mysteries: The Encounter between Contemporary Faiths and Archaic Realities, translated by Philip Mairet (New York, 1960), especially chapter 4, "Power and Holiness in the History of Religions," pp. 123–154. Scholars interested in Indian religions are today devoting a good deal of attention to religious power, usually conceived in terms of interaction. Among writings by Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, see, for example, Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts (Chicago, 1980). Recent anthropological writings that display an interest in power include Jay Miller's "Numic Religion: An Overview of Power in the Great Basin of Native North America," Anthropos 78 (1983): 337–354, and Adrian Campion Edwards's "Seeing, Believing, Doing: The Tiv Understanding of Power," Anthropos 78 (1983): 459–480.
Gregory D. Alles (1987)