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I came here from Shinto, which links to this article in the first phrase, claiming Shinto to be a folk religion. The definition in the first paragraph of this article is:
- Folk religion consists of beliefs, superstitions and cultural practices transmitted from generation to generation. It could be contrasted with the "organized religion" or "historical religion" in which founders, creed, theology and ecclesiastical organizations are present.
Here I thought that this was descriptive enough of Shinto. But then, the article goes on to say:
- For "folk religion" to be a meaningful category, there must be an institutional religion with a traditional teaching or professional clergy to contrast it against; in cultures that lack these things, it is difficult to speak of folk religion as a meaningful category.
- No one consciously practices a folk religion or calls their own religious practices a folk religion. When awareness of the tension between folk religion and the formal creed of an institutional religion rises to conscious levels, and the folk religion successfully resists that tension, it is well on its way to becoming an institutional religion in its own right, and develops a body of doctrine of its own to justify its continued practice against the institutional opposition.
These did not fit at all. They don't fit Chinese folk religion either.
As the article says that "The term is also applied to" and "Folk religion can also be thought of as" and then gives multiple definitions of what folk religion is, the result is bit of a mess where you don't see how many definitions there are and which statements apply to which definition. I'm not familiar with this term so I can't clarify it either.
The motley list of examples at the end is also confusing, as it doesn't elaborate on the examples at all, but the reader is left on their own to find what's common in them and what else might fit the definition(s). Is astrology, for instance, a folk religion? While "use of Bible, crucifix, other objects as talismans" seems fitting, why is other "religious jewelry" also included, when it's simply used as a sort of advertisement of one's religion, not as a talisman? Why does "religious art in the home" specify that it has to be in the home, how does the place where the art is make any difference? And "monsters, aliens, ghosts, yurei and yokai in anime, manga and films" - huh? What do monsters and aliens have to do with religion, except that both are fictitious? Besides, doesn't religion usually involve some sort of belief, whereas nobody believes that stories in anime, manga and films (and books) are true (unless they are non-fiction), nor do they think they're practicing religion by reading/watching them? 18.104.22.168 03:34, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
- There is also a really negative tone to this article. I thought an encyclopedia was to help us understand something not tell us how bad or inferior it is. For instance if there is a God who answers prayer, who are we to say the prayers of a folk religionist are inferior to those of a established clergyman? And if there is not, how could one religion be better than another anyway? Steve Dufour 04:47, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Proposed Split of 'Folk Magic'
I would like to propose a splitting apart of this article into two -- folk religion and folk magic, with an accompanying breakage of the current redirect from the term folk magic to this page. My reasoning is that folk magic is a subset of magic (paranomal) not of religion.
All the links i am finding in various articles to "folk magic" redirect here -- and yet folk magic is not even mentioned in the first paragraph of this article. Instead, the article mentions "superstition" in the first paragraph.. This is disrespectful to folk magic, respesents a clear case of bias against paranormal subject mater, and, most of all, simply does not help the reader to learn more about FOLK MAGIC, which is, prsumeably, why he or she clicked the link in the fist place.
I will let this comment sit for a few days. If there is no response from previous contributors or consensus on how to split the article apart and redirct the changes, i will begin to set about doing the work myself.
Catherineyronwode 01:26, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Ethnoreligious combination Proposed
I discovered this article while trying to find the article on Ethnoreligions. I feel the two topics are close enough that they should be combined into one article, as there appears to be little to separate a 'folk religion' as defined here from that of an 'Ethnoreligion'. As well perhaps a more neutral and objective tone could be added to the article to help. I'll do what I can. Adding the suggestion of combination in the Ethnoreligious discussion as well. Der.Gray (talk) 04:46, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
the topic is still in very poor shape. Yes, the distinction between "folk-" and "ethno-" is purely subjective, what you tend to classify as "folk" in your own group is "ethno" in foreign groups. Just a matter of perspective. --dab (𒁳) 12:10, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. I think there are three distinct topics here:
- Folk religion, the set of informal religious practices often associated with an organized religion
- Ethnic religion, a religion closely tied to an ethnic identity
- Ethnoreligious group, a demographic group that shares both a religious and an ethnic identity
Part of the confusion here may be that the concept of "ethnic religions" is sometimes referred to as "folk religions". But Wikipedia articles are about topics, not names. --Alynna (talk) 19:09, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
- I second the opinion of previous poster. My take on "folk religion" is something grass roots, just as the nomenclature suggests. I being Japanese, would offer examples like Koshin ko, or the "three monkeys" cult, or Fuji-ko that involves visiting Mt. Fuji various fake Fujis. I would submit that "folk religion" is often a non-organized religion, in the sense that they can be practiced without any congregating churches or temples, etc., and without any particular priest acting as preacher or guru. However, they may be connected to organized religion, for instance, worship of Jizo statues (small stone buddhas in small unmanned shrines or outdoors) may be considered folk religious. This issue is addressed by 22.214.171.124 topic at the top of this talk page, and like him/her I have a problem with the writer who says folk religion must be institutionalized and have a clergy, because my view is quite the opposite. And I also object (intellectually for me that is, but probably religiously to practitioners) to Shinto being classed as folk religion, and am going to remove it, and this seems to be one root of the problem.
- As for Ethnic religion, I hardly think it merits an article in its own right. You don't have to go on paragraphs long to state the obvious that ethnic groups may have its own religious identity. Just give it in two lines, followed by a list of examples. (On the other hand Ethnoreligious group gives a list - of the ethnicities part anyway)
- I also suspect that the term "Ethno-religious group" might not necessarily refer to ethnically homogenized groups, but quite the opposite. A region that has received waves of migrations may have ethnic diversity but through assimilation have cultural unity... but I digress Kiyoweap (talk) 07:19, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
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|Religious Distinctions: Wordly Meaningful or Meaningless?
Segmentations of religions have taken place within the academic arena for quite sometimes but are these seemingly intelligent formulations representative of the religious nature? A simple question such as” What is Buddhism?” or “”What is Taoism?” has attracted numerous researches and debate for decades. Hitherto, there is still no universal consensus thereto. This, often than not, led to the terminologies of “Religious”, “Philosophical”, “Orthodox”, and “Folk” Buddhism and Taoism and etc. What are the values behind these segmentations? Personally, I am of the view that such distinctions are generally meaningless because they do not reflect the true nature of the holistic subjects under study; rather they merely create a divide within a faith.
A religion is a system of belief that involves elements of faith and self-transformation of which are paramount ingredients thereto. People seek refuge in religion for a variety of reasons, ranging from cultivation to seeking protection during bad times. In other words, it gives us comfort and hope. In this sense a religion is a belief system with a set of comfort values that may not be conclusively and scientifically proven as right or wrong, or rather true or false. Religious essence is further reinforced through rituals that may either be conscious, subconscious, or even unconscious.
Rituals are often thought to be mystical or superstitious which in actual fact they are not necessarily so. Rituals are holistic acts, not necessarily having to be sorcery, even it be the latter, it is a matter of preferred practice. The simple daily Buddhist ritual include kneeling before Lord Buddha and other divine beings, bowing with a five point posture, and reciting of the mantras. Or alternatively, the lighting of joss-sticks, holding them up to our foreheads, lowering them to our chests, and finally placing them into the joss incenser. Or it could be a combination of both the afore-stated. Furthermore, when offerings of flowers, fruits, and food are made, they are equally acts of rituals.
On the other hand, philosophy is a set of thoughts that may be translated into values which may or may not be applied in our lives. This set of thoughts may be thoughts of our own or those of others that we pick up from some theories, doctrines, and etc. and uphold as correct and thus affianced. Therefore, for example, the teachings of Lord Buddha would be a form of “applied philosophy” by which we uphold, applied to our lives, and through which we hope to improve. The distinction between a philosophy and a religion is at times obscured as many people are incapable of differentiating them, and indeed they have no way of differentiating them when religion becomes entrenched as part of their lives, which is why some would say that Buddhism or Taoism is a way of life. However, in actual fact, philosophy is that set of thoughts and ideas and may or may not be applied to our behavior whilst Buddhism is and should be very much our behavior (I am referring to Buddhists in this instance)!
Religion, Buddhism in this instance, with rich philosophical values is translated into two primary courses, namely thoughts and actions. Like Taoism, Buddhism espouses practice that unconsciously or subconsciously becomes “a way of life”, and that makes us a Buddhist. When people wished to be called a Buddhist but are not ready to acknowledge the religious essence, I would not argue that they are not, but I would simply say that they are non-religious members of a religion and vice versa. I therefore see no reason for such unnecessary delineations.
Chen LongFa 06:43, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
== WP:OCCULT Assessment ==
Class: Start. Serious lack of supporting cites. Incomplete article not reflecting a world-view, however, there is some info related to WP:OCCULTImport: Top. Folk Religion is a (if not THE) starting point for Occult studies. Cultural transference leads to new form of thought and interpretation producing an interest into the occult nature of the folk religion. This article should be adopted by WP:OCCULT. --Trippz (talk) 20:08, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Last edited at 20:08, 7 July 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 15:20, 29 April 2016 (UTC)