The explanation, proffered by some early anthropologists, of primitive religion as resulting from a sense of wonder at unusual natural objects (for example volcanoes) or the unusual behaviour of such objects (exceptional waterfalls and the like). It was argued that technologically simple peoples imbued these phenomena with spiritual forces. Critics of this thesis included Émile Durkheim
and Lucien Lévy-Bruhl
. See also TOTEMISM
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