animism

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an·i·mism

(an'i-mizm),
The view that all things in nature, both animate and inanimate, contain a spirit or soul; part of many religious doctrines that a soul or spirit dwells within people and nature.
See also: animatism.
[L. anima, soul]

animism

A term of historic interest for belief that inanimate objects (e.g., earth, wind, fire, et al) are alive, move with purpose and intent, and have an agenda. The current equivalent is the Gaia hypothesis, which is widely regarded by mainstream biologists as a form of pseudoscience.

animism

(an′ĭ-mizm) [ anima + -ism]
Attribution of spiritual qualities and mental capabilities to nonhuman living creatures, e.g., animals or trees, or to inanimate objects, e.g., mountains.

animism

The belief held by many primitive peoples that a spirit resides within every object, controlling its existence and influencing events in the natural world.
References in periodicals archive ?
32 In that sense, ornament contains a residue of the earliest magical or animistic beliefs.
Given a mind that's capable of attributing minds to other people, it's a short step to positing minds that aren't linked to any body at all, and that would be ghosts and souls and spirits, if the mind that you attribute free of anything in the material world, or animistic beliefs in cases where a mind is attributed to an object like a tree, or mountain, or an idol.
Modern religion evolved out of the animistic beliefs of ancient people, he proposed.
Going back to the early days of Shinto, before the advent of Buddhism in the 6th century, I would like to point out that it consisted of a bunch of animistic beliefs according to which there was a kami in everything that was animate or inanimate.
Most citizens also retained some vestiges of animistic beliefs and practices, which they have come to regard as more cultural than religious.
Often these animistic beliefs appear to be of greater importance in the daily lives of the people than Buddhism itself.
The theory sprang from Lovelock's previous work with NASA, developing instruments for detecting life on other planets, and when first published in 1979 was scathingly attacked by the mainstream scientific community -- partly because of its close parallels to animistic beliefs, seeing the planet as somehow alive, but also because his holistic approach was in direct contrast to the reductionist, mechanistic approach of conventional modern science.