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Theology and Religious Education Department

De La Salle University
Taft Avenue, Manila

Module 2:
The wisdom and inspiration in the great faith traditions towards the fullness of
life

FOLK RELIGIONS
Charles:
Good afternoon everyone! Welcome to The Charles’ Show! Today, we will
tackle about folk religions; we also invited some experts that will help us in our
discussion.
So, folk religion occurs in small, local communities which do not adhere to
the norms of large systems. It refers to the indigenous beliefs held all over the
world, especially prior to the introduction of large, organized religions like
Christianity and secular movements like science and reason. Many people still
follow indigenous religions, particularly in parts of South America, Africa, China,
and Southeast Asia.

Show pictures related to folk religion then flash the meaning of folk religion --
Folk religions refer to the indigenous beliefs held all over the world,
especially prior to the introduction of large, organized religions.

We will talk about some folk religions like animism, neo-paganism,


shamanism and Philippine Mythology and here to help us are Larisa, Gab,
Shandy, Robynne and Jay.

Show pictures depicting animism.

Charles:
When and where did animism originated? What are their beliefs?

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading ORIGIN. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Gab:
There is no recorded date and place of origin. Some theories say that the
belief in animism among early humans was the basis for the later evolution of
religion. Sir E. B. Tylor, explained in his theory that early humans initially
worshipped local deities of nature, in a form of animism. These eventually grew
into larger, polytheistic deities, such as gods of the sun and moon.

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading CREED. Better if
some related pictures are shown.
Larisa:
The word animism is derived from the Latin anima, for “soul.” Animists
believe that all objects are endowed with a soul and that some things such as
mountains and rivers actually carry the souls of deities. Natural events and
phenomena are said to be expressions of these souls; when a god is angry, for
example, it might rain.
Animist belief systems also include the idea that souls are separate from
the body. Under these beliefs, it is possible for a soul to leave one entity for
another, or for someone's soul to be reincarnated in someone else.

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading CODE. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Charles:
So, animism is the attempt to live respectfully as members of the diverse
community of living persons which we call the world. . Early man, the hunter/
gatherers, needed to have the awareness and the intuition of his animal prey.

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading CULT. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Larisa:
In cultures which practice animism, there are often a lot of festivals, feasts,
and celebrations. Each festival is designed to cater to a specific deity, keeping his
or her soul happy and content so that the people will remain blessed and healthy.
Some festivals or ceremonies may also be conducted to bring about a change; a
festival might ask for rain or fertility, for example.

Show pictures depicting neo-paganism.

Charles:
I think these pictures depict our second folk religion which in neo-paganism.

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading ORIGIN. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Charles:
According to my research, the roots of Neopaganism begin with the
Renaissance and the reintroduction of Classicism and the resurgence of interest
in Graeco-Roman polytheism in the wake of works like the Theologia
mythologica of 1532. So, what are the beliefs of neo-paganists, what are the
norms that they follow?
Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading CREED. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Gab:
Neo-paganism is not centralized; therefore different believers have different
beliefs and follow different paths however; there are common beliefs that are uniform
throughout all paganists such as the adherence to the fact that nature is divine and
believe in a Supreme god thus giving much more reverence to these sovereign Being.
Futhermore, nearly all pagans believe in numerous gods. Aside from having faith in
gods and goddesses, pagans believe in ancestral and familiar spirits also known as
locational spirits.

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading CODE. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Jay:
General rule of paganism is honor and treat life with respect.

Charles:
Do they have rituals, festivals, etc?

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading CULT. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Jay:
Yes, they do have rituals. Several Neopagan religions incorporate the use of
magic into their ritual practices. Most prominently among these is Wicca, the rituals
of which were at least initially partially based upon those of ceremonial magic.
Margot Adler highlighted how several Neopagan groups, like the Reformed
Druids of North America and the Erisian movement refuse to take their rituals
seriously, instead incorporating into them a great deal of play.

Show pictures depicting shamanism.

Charles:
Those are shamans, right?

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading ORIGIN. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Shandy:
Yeah, well, Shamanism, China’s oldest indigenous belief system is a
branch of animism.It has no no recorded date of origin.

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading CREED. Better if
some related pictures are shown.
Charles:
Being a shaman you are a human bridge between communities and the
spirit world. During trances, which are induced by rituals, shamans ask spirits to
help them in times of different problems, communicate with the dead, and predict
future. To become a shaman you must first experience a serious illness then a
deep religious experience.

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading CODE. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Shandy:
Moreover, it is widely practiced of ritual transition and crisis. A shaman
never reveals his secret much like a magician this is because of a much serious
consequence when a shaman reveals his secrets he will die.

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading CULT. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Shandy:
Shamans are generally poor and come from the lower social classes. Their
spiritual will or power is so strong that there is a need for them to be separated
from society. Shamans are members of a caste that pass their tradition from one
generation to the other.

Show pictures depicting Philippine Mythology.

Charles:
Let’s discuss a local folk religion, Philippine Mythology.

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading ORIGIN. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Robynn:
This religion started from literature until such time that people started to
believe in the deities mentioned in the stories.

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading CREED. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Robynn:
They are polytheists, they believe in gods and goddesses that have specific
roles and they come and pray to them when they need something.
Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading CULT. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Robynn:
Everything in nature that is alive is sacred they don’t have control over it.

Flash the italicized words as mentioned under the heading CULT. Better if
some related pictures are shown.

Robynn:
They use things from nature that they believe were made by their gods as
means of protecting themselves these things are usually called ”agimat”.

Charles:
We’ll, we’ve heard a lot of interesting things today. Before we leave, I’ll let
you listen to the song Colors of the Wind which depicts our topic. Until, next time!
This is The Charles’ Show.

Show the video of the song Colors of the Wind.

You think I'm an ignorant savage


And you've been so many places
I guess it must be so
But still I cannot see
If the savage one is me
How can there be so much that you don't know?
You don't know ...

You think you own whatever land you land on


The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name

You think the only people who are people


Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew you never knew

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned?
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?

Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest


Come taste the sunsweet berries of the Earth
Come roll in all the riches all around you
And for once, never wonder what they're worth

The rainstorm and the river are my brothers


The heron and the otter are my friends
And we are all connected to each other
In a circle, in a hoop that never ends

How high will the sycamore grow?


If you cut it down, then you'll never know
And you'll never hear the wolf cry to the blue corn moon

For whether we are white or copper skinned


We need to sing with all the voices of the mountains
We need to paint with all the colors of the wind

You can own the Earth and still


All you'll own is Earth until
You can paint with all the colors of the wind