Animism has no dogma, no set of universally-accepted beliefs. You have to remember that if you were to visit an aboriginal people and ask them about animism, they wouldn’t know what you were talking about.
My description of animism (like every other description of it) is an abstraction of what I see in the attitudes of Leaver peoples scattered all over the world—peoples who aren’t in communication with each other and who generally feel no need for precise theological answers. Although most that I know of are more or less constantly interacting with the spirit world (in a very casual way), I’ve never encountered any with elaborately developed notions of an afterlife as such.
posted: 08 Jan 2002
updated: 08 Jan 2002