Skip to main content

Evans-Pritchard, Sir Edward

Evans-Pritchard, Sir Edward (1902–73). British anthropologist who concentrated on religion and related cultural phenomena. Involved with fieldwork in the S. Sudan during the period 1926–39, Evans-Pritchard's main intention was to show the rationality and coherence of the cultural domain, in order to refute the Lévy-Bruhl thesis of primitive mentality. Theories of Primitive Religion (1965) is a sustained attack on scientific theories of religion, and Nuer Religion (1956) is one of the first detailed studies of a pre-literate religion in which the religious domain is treated non-reductionistically. His approach (known as hermeneutic explanation) is in strong contrast to nomothetic explanation (Gk., nomos, ‘a law’) which seeks to find covering laws or generalizations—e.g. Evans-Pritchard's near-contemporary, A. Radcliffe-Brown (1881–1955). Radcliffe-Brown sought to establish structural principles governing human relationships.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Evans-Pritchard, Sir Edward." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . 18 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Evans-Pritchard, Sir Edward." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . (March 18, 2019).

"Evans-Pritchard, Sir Edward." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved March 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.