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Ancestor worship (the belief that some essence of one's ancestors persists and is capable of influencing the physical world, so that they may be appealed to for assistance, or must be appeased) seems to be one of the earliest forms of religious belief. I don't know if any present day (21st Century) examples exist. I'm almost certain that if any do exist, they'll be strongly contaminated by other religions, so that the particular practices under discussion would have to be carefully teased apart. (As the comment by Sebeex3 illustrates, that sort of thing might not go over very well with some people.) I think this article needs to be completely rewritten to describe ancestor worship in objective terms. I do not believe that it is useful to call out examples of ancestor worship country by country, as it is done here; those sections should all be removed. If particular examples of ancestor worship need to be called out to illustrate a point, that is a different matter. Hmoulding (talk) 01:39, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
This is wrong! It's not based on cultures such as Chinese, because every culture or ethnicity has people with a different religion and "Ancestor worship" is originally from the Animism religion. It's also in Buddhism nowadays and Vietnamese people are also Buddhist, but that's actually just honoring ancestors and not worshipping. My point is "Ancestory worship" does not pertain to the Chinese culture because there are Chinese out there who are Christian and do not pray to their ancestors or anything of the sort. Who wrote this article?! Sebeex3 20:56, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
There's a lot more that could be said here: its prominence in East Asia, possible links to Confucianism and the importance of honoring one's elders; other religious influences and other forms;ways that it is actually practiced. Wesley 15:27 19 May 2003 (UTC)
What's up with the zhongwen, guys? This is not a chinese phenomenon, or a chinese article. Perhaps they could be included later on, but not in the intro. I'm putting a systematic bias template on this. --Taejo 09:36, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Have edited the article to a more generic understanding of ancestor worship and removed the "limited geographic scope" tag. Knowledge for All 16:03, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Honoring the ancestors
I'm not an expert -- it seems that the practice of 'Honoring the ancestors' is a more accurate description than Worship. Is this a true statement? If so, the page could be moved to the better name. I am under the impression that even Christians of Chinese heritage 'Honor their ancestors' (After all it is one of the Ten Commandments of the Judeo-Christian tradition -- Honor thy Father and Mother) --Ancheta Wis 02:06, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Moved from Talk talk:Ancestor worship
Im doing a project on this, and I was wondering if anyone who has any knowledge on this toppic could help me. I who, or what came abotu founder ancestor worship. I have an idea its just beliefs about worshiping your friends and family after they die... but did one person start it?? I can get the basic information off the page for the report, but I also need to know if there are any written doctrines about this. Another thing that confuses me is, is there a certain time or place they do this, or is it just when they die, they lay offerings and things like that. If there is a place they honor this (like a church) I need to know if there are any places like this in Michigan.
Egyptian culture did the same thing, such as opening sarcophogi on a particular day to pay a families respect and so forth. So starting it is a no-no, formalising it is most likely a middle eastern thing
The paragraph: "It is in that sense that the translation "ancestor veneration" may convey a more accurate sense of what practitioners, such as the Chinese and other Confucian-influenced societies, see themselves as doing. For example, as "worship" in a Christian context is reserved for the Trinity, a Christian who is unfamiliar with the actual practices and beliefs involved in ancestor-directed rites may mistakenly assume that those who practice "ancestor worship" attribute to the ancestors everything that a Christian attributes to the Trinity: creation of the world, omnipotence, a different class of being, etc." seems rather unnecessarily detailed in unrelated matters, it goes beyond simply clarifying the difference
- Hi, I just came across these article while researching. For those who are commited to this subject: I agree "ancestor veneration" is a much better expression for what is going on in all tribal ethnic groups (on all continents, not only concerning the Americas). It is not only veneration or honoring the ancestors, it is interaction with them. A complete different thing than what happens in the major world religions. And it cannot be merged with "anything with the dead", because tribes do not have death in our sense, it is a passage, but different from the Christian ect. understanding of "going from one world to another". Also you should adress reincarnation in this context somehow. Sorry, I cannot help more, I am busy with articles in German language. --sybilla 17:04, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I just went home to Los Angeles for Chinese New Year, and humored my immigrant grandmother, as I have since childhood, by co-worshipping her parents-in-law (my grandfather's parents). As far as I can tell, she actually asks them for discrete real-world benefits, though mostly in the form of behaviors/accomplishments/rewards (to loosely translate a once-common prayer of hers, "Please help Namangwari get all As") ~06:49, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Many traditional African belief systems revolve around ancestor worship instead of animism. Someone might want to include this. I would, but i'm busy with about 30 other articles. Y'all have nice page here. keep up the good work Scott Free 18:00, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
What does Buddhism have to do with ancestor veneration? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jesucristo301 (talk • contribs) 22:25, 18 October 2007 (UTC) rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 19:45, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
All Saints day (1 Nov.) or All Soul's Day (2 Nov.) or both?
- generally yes, because they are Catholic holidays and most of population of Poland is Catholic. However, these holidays coincide with pre-Christian Slavic holiday of Dziady, which nowadays is observed by some people on November 2, along with Catholic All Souls Day (Zaduszki in Polish). Celebration doesn't differ much, both Catholics and neo-Pagans go to cemeteries, light candles for the dead, and commemorate the dead. Neo-Pagans also give offerings of food and drink to the Dead. Critto (talk) 00:20, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
As all books and articles on the subject call the subject 'Ancestor worship' rather than 'Ancestor veneration' I have moved the article back to its original title. Colin4C (talk) 12:25, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
What about Shinto??
As less as I know about this interesting Japanese religion called Shinto, it's mostly based on the Ancestor Veneration. Its temples are built to the Ancestors, the prayers are being directed to them, along with offerings given to them. I am Polish myself and in Poland we have a tradition - probably very old and pre-Christian - called Dziady (lit. Grandfathers or Ancestors). Dziady are now celebrated mostly by neo-Pagans in Slavic Reconstructionist Paganism. Nowadays, Dziady are observed on November 2., along with a Catholic holiday named All Souls Day (Zaduszki). Probably in the past the date of Dziady wasn't fixed, I dunno. Critto (talk) 23:03, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
What about Ancient Rome??
What about Ancient Rome?? Ancient_Roman_religion plus this definition doesn't seem to grasp the whole concept - "Ancestor worship is a practice based on the belief that deceased family members have a continued existence, take an interest in the affairs of the world, and/or possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living." Spettro9 (talk) 17:33, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I think this article and Veneration of the dead should be merged. Neither is particularly up to scratch, but each has approached from a different angle, so a merged article should be of higher quality. I don't know which is a better title. Probably Veneration of the dead. VsevolodKrolikov (talk) 16:01, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
- Rites about dead ancestors and dead children are very different in many culures. -Sfeel (talk) 08:35, 23 July 2009 (UTC)