Part of speech: noun

Belief in spiritual existence, as the soul of man or the world soul of Greek philosophy.

Part of speech: noun

A widely prevalent form of polytheism, which attributes a soul to the lower animals, to inanimate objects, and to natural phenomena, as winds, storms, etc.

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Usage examples "animism":

  1. A simple animism gives to men their first conceptions. - "Outlines of a Philosophy of Religion based on Psychology and History", Auguste Sabatier.
  2. On the other hand Soma worship is connected with a very ancient but persistent form of animism, for the Vedic poets celebrate as immortal the stones under which the plant is pressed and beg them to bestow wealth and children. - "Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I. (of 3) An Historical Sketch", Charles Eliot.
  3. If the phenomena under examination, then, cannot be explained in terms of animism and if the spiritistic hypothesis is gravely open to question, what explanation is left? - "Modern Religious Cults and Movements", Gaius Glenn Atkins.